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Outsiders

This Game-Changing Crystal Could Let You Breathe Underwater… For Real

Danish scientists have just created something that you never thought was possible...

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Most people have wished they could breathe underwater at some point, but thanks to scientists at the University of Southern Denmark, the fanciful pipe dream may soon be a stunning reality.

Let us introduce to you the ‘Aquaman Crystal’ – a synthetic crystal that absorbs oxygen from the environment and stores it for later release, meaning that after taking a few grains of the stuff, divers would be able to leave their oxygen tanks at home.

The crystal may sound like something from a poorly written comic book, but the project is driven entirely by science, and Professor Christine McKenzie believes it will one day allow divers to ditch their tanks and swim unaided.

“It’s like dipping a sponge in water, squeezing the water out and repeating the process again and again,” she said.

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“Divers may one day be able to leave the oxygen tanks at home and instead get oxygen from this material as it “filters” and concentrates oxygen from surrounding air or water.

“A few grains contain enough oxygen for one breath, and as the material can absorb oxygen from the water around a diver and supply the diver with it, the diver would not need to bring more than these few grains.”

The essential component behind the crystalline material is that it doesn’t react to oxygen while absorbing it, meaning the crystals can take in oxygen from surrounding areas without becoming corrupted.

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McKenzie continued: “When the substance is saturated with oxygen, it can be compared to a tank containing pure oxygen under pressure — the difference is that this material can hold three times as much.

“This mechanism is well known from all breathing creatures on earth: humans and many other species use iron, while other animals, like crabs and spiders, use copper.

It sounds like it’s time to finally launch that search for the lost city of Atlantis…

“Small amounts of metals are essential for absorbing oxygen, so it’s not entirely surprising to see this effect in our new material.”

The main question arising from this last point is that if it’s not that surprising these crystals allow humans to turn fish-friendly – why has it taken us so long to invent the damn substance?

We could’ve been chilling making friends with dolphins for decades now if these scientists had got their act together a bit quicker.

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Today, the Aquaman-inspired creation is being used to help lung patients normally forced to carry heavy oxygen tanks. A noble cause indeed.

Tomorrow, though, it could well be changing the very nature of humanity with a breathtaking – or rather breath-giving – product that lets us prolong our stay when we’re under the sea.

It sounds like it’s time to finally launch that search for the lost city of Atlantis…

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