A Glimpse at the World’s Darkest Material

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For better or worse, the introduction of Photoshop has allowed both professional photographers and everyday people to edit pictures in unbelievable ways with ease.

In turn, this photo-editing software has caused us to become more skeptical of photos we come across on the internet. After all, it can be hard to tell when something is natural or altered!

That’s exactly why people of the internet are having a hard time believing that the following images of items sprayed with the world’s blackest material are real or fake. The answer might surprise you…

In 2014, British researchers invented Vantablack, which has since been declared the world’s darkest material. In fact, it’s so dark that it astoundingly has the ability to absorb 99.96% of infrared, ultraviolet, and visible light that it encounters, which is remarkable.

Surrey Nanosystems

In the following years, the researchers at Surrey NanoSystems in Newhaven, England have developed Vantablack to become even darker. Now, the material is so dark that no spectrometer on the planet has enough power to measure the amount of light that it absorbs.

Surrey Nanosystems

Wanting to release this item to the public, the researchers at Surrey NanoSystems finally made the product available in spray-on form. While it isn’t quite as dark as its prototype, it still absorbs 99.8% of the light around it. To give you an example of just how powerful that is, they sprayed it on a series of three-dimensional objects and it made them appear two-dimensional…

Surrey Nanosystems

“Even running a high power laser pointer across it barely reflects anything back to the viewer,” one of the many researchers at Surrey NanoSystems said in a video. “We have never before made a material so ‘black’ that it can’t be picked up on our spectrometers in the infrared.”

Surrey Nanosystems

Surprisingly, Vantablack isn’t a pigment, fabric, or paint. It’s actually made up of millions of carbon nanotubes. These nanotubes are more than 3,500 times smaller than a human hair and work together to absorb and trap all of the light that enters. See what it looks like compared to other black objects…

It’s unbelievable that science has come so far that they can make a material that dark! Do you believe this is real? Or are you convinced it’s Photoshop magic?