Skip to main content

The humble LED could help prevent shark attacks on surfers

Whether you’re a rookie surfer battling with ankle-busters or an experienced pro trying to kiss up against those curls, the last thing you want to see is a shark snapping at your heels. Or any body part, for that matter.

Truth be told, shark attacks on humans are pretty rare, but a team of researchers in Australia think they may have found a way to make our seas even safer, especially for surfers.

It involves the humble LED, which, when attached as part of a set to the underside of a surfboard, helps to hide the surfer’s silhouette from nearby sharks that would otherwise spot them zipping across the water.

The team at Sydney’s Macquarie University says tests with the light-emitting diodes in shark-rich waters have so far proved 100 percent successful, which is certainly good news for whoever’s been on the board. Just kidding — they’ve been using foam dummies to test the kit.

Nathan Hart, who’s been leading the research, told the Macquarie Lighthouse that to come up with an effective design, it was important to understand how sharks “see” as they move through the water, and also to learn about how the predators respond to their prey.

“Studying the sensory systems of sharks and what triggers them to attack, and how they might mistake a human for a seal was where it all started,” Hart said, adding, “Pure basic research can sometimes lead to unexpected applications and potentially contribute to life-saving technology.”

Hart says his team is currently in talks with a possible commercial partner, with a view to refining the design for use not only on consumer surfboards, but also sailing craft such as kayaks, for which the system appears to be equally effective.

Now, you may be thinking: “Well, it’s all well and good while the surfer is on the board, but what about when they’re in the water before and after riding a wave?”

Hart has already thought of that, and has led another team in the development of a wetsuit that’s camouflaged to deter sharks, which is great news for divers, too. Inspiration for the special suits, which come in contrasting shades of blue, came from research a few years back that suggested sharks are colorblind.

While die-hard surfers would never hang up their board for fear of a shark attack, these innovative designs could certainly offer peace of mind when out on the ocean waves.

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Speed up your daily commute with these e-bike deals
ENGWE EP-2 Pro e-bike right side shot next to an unmowed field.

The best electric bikes have come a long way in recent years and we don't just mean in terms of the miles you travel. With technology changing quickly, there are also an increasing number of electric bike deals around and we've picked out some of the very best. Electric bikes are a great way of getting around more easily and without necessarily needing to use as much stamina as a regular bike. Below, you'll find fantastic e-bike bike deals from many different retailers. There'll be something for every need here. Let's take a look at them.
Jasion EB5 Electric Bike -- $430, was $750

With a 350w brushless motor, the Jasion EB5 Electric Bike can achieve a top speed of 20 MPH with a range of up to 25-40 miles per charge. It has four working modes with a PAS mode where the motor assists with a moderate amount of power as you pedal, along with a Pure Electric Mode, a Pedal Mode, and a Booster Mode where the bike assist on hills and anywhere else you might be struggling. 26-inch puncture-resistant tires provide excellent durability while there's a high-strength front fork suspension, Shimano 7-speed gears, dual lights, and an LCD display. The latter offers controls for adjustable backlight brightness with one of five levels, along with mode controls.

Read more
Jackery graduates from pioneer to sustainable master with latest launch
Jackery 2000 Plus used outdoors while camping

This content was produced in partnership with Jackery.
In 2012, at a critical time when sustainability efforts were ramping up everywhere, Jackery was born. The prevailing vision behind its creation was to provide accessible green energy to everyone. Years later, in 2016, Jackery launched the world's first outdoor-friendly portable power stations, and soon after, introduced the world's first portable solar panels. They would change many lives for the better but also transform an entire market that's now dedicated to green, sustainable energy solutions. Today, over 11 years later, Jackery is still going strong, and getting ready to launch one of its most advanced products to date, the Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Plus.

Ideal for outdoor applications, portability, and emergency backup usage, the Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Plus delivers some incredible features that honor Jackery's original mission -- "to make green energy accessible anytime and anywhere". More importantly, it offers safe and reliable power independence for all, thanks to a combined software and hardware defense system, which we'll explore in more detail below, and industry-leading fast-charge technology to get you working, playing, or back in the game as quickly as possible.
Learn More
Advanced technology for a better anywhere experience

Read more
From $500 to $210: This Segway electric scooter is $290 off for Prime Day
segway hoverboard scooter black friday deals amazon max

Gas is getting expensive. All around the world people are exploring alternative transportation methods that are cheaper, better for the environment, and more fun. One method that has exploded recently is the electric scooter. E-scooter ride share apps have descended on cities. If you've tried one out and want to get your own, Prime Day deals provide a great opportunity to snag one for cheap. Right now the Segway Ninebot Electric Kickscooter is down to just $210 from its usual price of $500. That's over 50% off! It's also the lowest price it has ever been. Before this, the cheapest it's ever been is $295. Read more about the scooter below, then check out the deal yourself before Prime Day is over.

Why you should buy the Segway Ninebot Electric Kickscooter on Prime Day
Segway is most famous for the two-wheeled balancing devices that got popular in the mid-2000s. They were seen as futuristic and a bit goofy. They never really took off, and the similar but less goofy (if more unstable) hoverboards were the devices that blew up (figuratively and literally). Today we see Segways mostly in science fiction movies and on city sightseeing tours. They were discontinued in 2020.

Read more