Imagine if the next time you dove into the ocean, you and your freestyle soaked up more than just a few sun rays - even left your fave swim spot better than how you found it. What if you could actually absorb some of the surface-level pollutants (the ones left behind from thousands of oceanic oil spills every year), effectively leaving the ocean cleaner just by taking a dip in it?
That might not be such an outlandish idea, thanks to the Sponge Suit designed by Mihri and Cengiz Ozkan, two University of California Riverside professors. The genius suit, constructed for Reshape15's Wearable Technology Competition, uses 3D printing and nanoscale material research to create one seriously stylish, planet-saving two-piece.
How does it work? The bikini's outer shell is made from 3D printed flexible elasto plastic, but it's the filler material that's unlike anything you've ever worn before.
Its sponge fillers, made from a heated form of sugar, are able to capture water's pollutants - absorbing contaminants up to 25 times the weight of the suit's material! But don't worry, the icky stuff won't escape from the suit until it's purposely heated up to 1,000 degrees Celsius. After this intense heating process, the sustainable material can be reshaped into the suit and used for many ocean-saving swims to come.
Want to see the suit's material in action? Take a look at the video below.