PERTH (AUSTRALIA)- A company called Shark Attack Mitigation Systems (SAMS) and the University of Western Australia scientists together have been working to protect swimmers, surfers and divers from getting attacked on with a line of shark-deterring wet suits.
One version, “Elude,” camouflages the wearer in the water, based on the recent discovery that sharks seem to be color blind. The other, “Diverter,” aims to repel sharks with high-contrast black and white bands, a natural signal the company says tells sharks you aren’t the delicious snack they’re looking for
The suits have been developed in response to the number of attacks on the coast of Western Australia in the last year. Between October 2011 and July 2012, great white sharks killed five people in attacks in the area.
The striped pattern is based on the idea that a lot of animals in the sea are repelled by noxious animals, prey that provide a signal that somehow says ‘Don’t eat me’ – and that has been manifest in a striped pattern.
The suits’ designs were tested with tiger sharks off the coast of Western Australia, but not with humans inside them.
More testing is scheduled for this summer, anyone who can’t wait to go into shark-infested waters and try them out can order a suit now.