Scientists have announced the creation of a super black material; so black, you can’t even see it.
We’re not joking, either. The material, developed by Surrey NanoSystems, absorbs all but 0.035 per cent of the incident light that strikes it, and is so dark the human eye struggles to understand what it is seeing.
"VANTA" stands for "vertically aligned carbon nanotube arrays" – the substance is built up of a layer of carbon nanotubes on an aluminium foil. Photons are able to enter the "forest" of nanotubes, which are 10,000 times thinner then each piece of hair on your head, but cannot escape.
Black! Black! We crawl on our knees towards our doom!
The new material is so dark, it removes all texture from the surface to which it is applied; a crumpled foil appears completely smooth in images released by the company. As for applications, expect it to appear (or rather, not appear) in astronomical cameras, telescopes, and infrared scanning systems. Inevitably, the military is also sniffing around Vantablack; so is Batman, probably.
It won’t come cheap, either. When Ben Jensen, the firm’s chief technical officer was 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.
For now, Vantablack has the title of being the blackest black. Ever wanted to see a black hole? Well, technically, you can’t - but this is as close as you can get.