Researchers have successfully experimented a wet suit material aimed at protecting surfers from deadly shark bites.
The material- experimented by a team from Flinders University in South Australia- has proved shark-proof after it was exposed to one of the most dangerous creatures in the sea.
The team tested two different types of fabrics that combined very strong but lightweight fibers with the neoprene material used for wet suits.
A video of the experiment shows that the materials wrapped around steel plates and having bite sensors, were exposed to the shark.
The sharks could be seen chewing the plates. Other than the experiment, the material was also tested in the laboratory by cutting, lacerating and puncturing the foam fabric.
It revealed during the experiments that the cuts made to the new fabrics were smaller and shallower than those on standard neoprene.
The different materials were tested along with an ordinary wet suit on Great White Sharks and the results showed that both fabrics may provide some protection against shark bite,” said Charlie Huveneers, who led the research team.
The team said new technological advances in fabric have allowed the development of lightweight alternative strong materials that can be incorporated into traditional wet suits.
According to the International Shark Attack File there were 66 unprovoked shark attacks in 2018 out of 130 reported incidents. Of those were five were fatal.
Read More: New species found in whale shark mouth
The team say that while the results are positive, more testing is required, particularly on a full wet suit design made using the new materials.
Tests would then need to be run on the potential damage to human flesh underneath the suit before they could recommend the material is used in wet suits.
‘Although these fabrics may reduce blood loss resulting from a shark bite, further research is needed to measure the magnitude of injury to human flesh,’ said Dr Huveneers.