Australian Scientists Create Wet Suits That Can Resist Shark Attacks

Australian scientists have developed a wet-suit that can limit the affects of shark-bite.

With the number of fatalities related to shark-bite increasing, the revolutionary new suit could help save the lives of surfers, scuba divers, snorkelers and even beach-goers who could otherwise become potential shark-chum.

The wet-suits have been developed at Flinders University, Australia using a light-weight material that can contain injuries caused by shark bite by reducing blood loss.

Researchers tested nine variants of two fabrics to create a blend of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene fibres (UHMWPE), Newsweek reported. The latter is one of the toughest fibres in the the world, nearly ten times tougher than steel and almost 1.5 times tougher than Kevlar-onto neoprene, a type of synthetic rubber generally used to create wetsuits.

The material was tested with 3D models first and then with real time-life great white sharks using wooden dummies to check for punctures and lacerations in case of an attack. The experiments proved that the new material was much stronger and resistant to bites, lacerations, punctures and rips that standard neoprene.

While the wetsuits indeed reduced blood loss, the researchers stressed that it was not yet clear what impact the new fabric may have on human tissue, ie. damage caused by the bite to skin tissue.

As per data provided by the International Shark Attack File (ISAF), there were 2,785 confirmed unprovoked shark attacks between 1958 and 2016 around the world. 439 of these proved fatal.