An Australian company has developed an 'invisible wetsuit' designed to confuse sharks - and dissuade them from attacking surfers.
The so-called "invisibility cloak" has been launched by a company in Western Australia, where sharks have killed five people in less than a year.
It's based on the recently discovered insight that sharks are essentially colour blind. Their research led to two suits being developed to try and elude the beats. One ('Diverter') has bold dark blue and white stripes which are supposed to mirror the 'warning signs' that animals would use to intimidate sharks in nature.
The other suit ('Elude') is a camouflage suit intended to disguise a surfer in the sea.
The suits are the results of two years' work by researchers at the University of Western Australia, along with designers Shark Attack Mitigation Systems (SAMS).
They cost $495 and can be bought online at Radiator.
"Many animals in biology are repelled by noxious animals – prey that provide a signal that somehow says ‘Don't eat me’ – and that has been manifest in a striped pattern," Prof Shaun Collin from UWA told Associated Press.ADVERTISEMENT
“We are using a lot of nature's technology, based on high-contrast-based banding patterns. The wearer will be obvious, and the idea is the shark will see that as an unpalatable food item and swim right by."