MIT creates a furry wetsuit inspired by semiaquatic mammals

Would you wear a furry wetsuit? Engineers from the MIT started producing fur-like rubbery pelts inspired by hairy, semiaquatic mammals. The good news is that it works very well.

The future of wetsuits is now, as new manufacturing techniques and new fabrics pave the way to advanced thermal properties.

The MIT research was motivated by a visit to Sheico Group, the world's largest wetsuit manufacturer. The company was interested in developing materials that would keep surfers warm and nimble while they move in and out of the water.

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Great Barrier Reef suffers worst coral bleaching ever

Marine scientists have concluded that the worst bleaching event ever recorded on Australia's Great Barrier Reef killed 67 percent of its shallow-water corals in the past nine months.

The extreme underwater heatwave of 2015/2016 affected a 435-mile (700 kilometers) swath of corals in the northern third of the Reef, especially around Lizard Island. The researchers believe that if climate change continues, the affected area will increase.

"Most of the losses in 2016 have occurred in the northern, most pristine part of the Reef. This region escaped with minor damage in two earlier bleaching events in 1998 and 2002, but this time around it has been badly affected," notes Terry Hughes, director of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.

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How would you name your local underwater reef?

The General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) launched the Undersea Feature Names Gazetteer, an online index/dictionary for the bathymetric world.

Everyone is invited to propose names for new features. After being submitted to GEBCO, the names are analyzed, compared, and selected in an annual meeting.

A new name should have two terms: a specific expression/word and a generic expression/word. The specific term should relate to nearby onshore or offshore features, a maritime researcher or explore, or a historic ship.

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