Scientists discovered a color even darker than black

Goths: Do you like wearing black, but wish there were a color even more representative of the bottomless void you carry around inside? Then you’ll be happy to know they’ve discovered an even darker color.

The Independent reports that scientists at British company Surrey NanoSystems have developed a material so dark it “absorbs all but 0.035 per cent of visual light, setting a new world record.” Dubbed Vantablack, the material is made out of carbon nanotubes grown on aluminum that are each 10,000 times thinner than a human hair. It’s so dark, scientists say, the human eye cannot even see it; it registers simply as an awesome black hole.

Via The Independent:

To stare at the “super black” coating made of carbon nanotubes – each 10,000 times thinner than a human hair – is an odd experience. It is so dark that the human eye cannot understand what it is seeing. Shapes and contours are lost, leaving nothing but an apparent abyss.

If it was used to make one of Chanel’s little black dresses, the wearer’s head and limbs might appear to float incorporeally around a dress-shaped hole.

Applications for this new material include taking better pictures of outer space, badass fashion-goth couture, and some scary military shit the company is not allowed to discuss. So, a bit of a mixed bag.


But before you start saving up for a new wardrobe, know that Ben Jensen, the firm’s chief technical officer, doesn’t want you to have things that make you happy:

Asked about the prospect of a little black dress, he said it would be “very expensive” – the cost of the material is one of the things he was unable to reveal.

“You would lose all features of the dress. It would just be something black passing through,” he said.

Does he really think that’s going to stop Lady Gaga?

Anyone who’s read Thomas Pynchon’s high modernist masterpiece “Gravity’s Rainbow” may be reminded of the fictional Imoplex G, a mysterious plastic created by IG Farben for nefarious purposes and worshipped like a world-destroying deity by some of the characters. Which begs the question: What does he know? Unfortunately for dogged truth seekers such as myself, Pynchon could not be reached for comment as of press time, or ever.

[h/t Refinery 29 | Photos: Surrey Nanosystems]