CNN -- Forget the new black. This is the real black. A British nanotech company has created what it says is the world's darkest material. It is so dark the human eye can't discern its shape and form, creating what has been called a black hole.
Vantablack, made out of carbon nanotubes, is designed by Surrey NanoSystems and absorbs 99.96% of all light that hits it. Conventional black, such as black paint or fabric, absorbs between 95% and 98% of light.
The company says Vantablack was the darkest material ever tested by the National Physical Laboratory in the UK, as well as the Institute of Standards and Technology in the U.S.
The material is made up of millions of carbon nanotubes, each measuring two or three nanometers -- or roughly one millionth of a millimeter. It is grown on aluminium foil. Creases and bumps on the foil are easily picked up by the human eye. But once covered with Vantablack, all wrinkles and roughness seem to disappear.
"Some people describe it as a hole, because there is literally not enough light coming from the surface to allow the eye to discern the contours that are in that foil," Surrey NanoSystem's Steve Northam told CNN.
Sound like the ultimate slimming little black dress? Actually, no. A Vantablack dress would render the curves and contours of the human body invisible and cause "the wearer to look like a two-dimensional cardboard cut out," Northam said.
Instead, the material is designed to help air-borne cameras, telescopes and infrared scanning systems work more efficiently by reducing stray light. Military clients are lining up to buy it, as is the space industry. The benefits, Northam said, are that "your systems can see fainter objects further away, you improve the sensitivity and you improve the signal to noise ratio in these systems."
The material, whose development was backed by the UK's Technology Strategy Board, was launched at this year's Farnborough Airshow in southern England. According to Ben Jensen, chief technology officer of Surrey NanoSystems, it was a "major breakthrough by UK industry in the application of nanotechnology to optical instrumentation."
So far, Surrey NanoSystems has only grown Vantablack on foil. It plans to grow it different materials and on three dimensional shapes.
So people realize we've invented magic by now, right? I mean, I feel like growing up you always wish magic was real, and then one day the technology/internet age hit and POOF, magic exists. Wanna fly? Buy a jet pack. They actually exist and work (ask Kenny Powers). Want your favorite meal in front of you right now? Get the Seamless app. Wanna have an incredibly sexy naked woman in front of you right now? Go to youjizz.com, or redtube.com, or extremetube.com, or bukkaketube.com, or assplaytube... well, basically just go on the internet.
And now this. Magic black holes that grow* on aluminum foil that make it impossible to discern it's surface texture. As in, if you wore a shirt of it, your upper-body would just look like a 2D black hole with arms and a neck coming out of it. Thanks to magic, we now have the best Halloween costume of all time. And yeah, I know the military is all over it and they're probably not worrying about guys like me who want to make their body the ultimate light devourer, but they'll come around. You start throwing out "Actual Black Hole Costume" and just watch the lines at Ricky's fill the city blocks.
So thank you, magic. Actually, thank you to us, cus we fuckin created you magic.
* The fact that this shit is "grown" is the most mind-blowing part of this story. How do you grow a black hole? That's fuckin cool... and sorta terrifying for some reason.