A surfer, left, and a diver wear wetsuits displaying the two styles of SAMS shark deterrent technology.
(Photo: Shark Attack Mitigation Systems via AFP/Getty Images)
Australian researchers say they've come up with the first shark-proof wetsuits, reports the BBC.
Divers and surfers might be a little disappointed to learn that the suits aren't made of some magical fiber that wards off sharp teeth - this is all about visual tricks.
One has black and white stripes, on the theory that a shark would see that as a warning to stay away from possibly poisonous prey, explains the West Australian. The other suit is basically blue, and adorned in a way to make the wearer invisible in the water to the color-blind sharks. The first is for surfers and swimmers, the second for divers.
After a big spike in shark attacks in Australia, scientists from the University of Western Australia teamed up with designers from the commercial Shark Attack Mitigation Systems to create the $500 suits. They just went on sale this week, so it's too early to tell whether the designs work in the real world.
A contributor at Slashdot sums it up this way: "Apparently Australians have come up with the brilliant idea: if you don't want to be eaten by a shark, it's best to not go swimming in shark-infested waters in a seal costume."