We know what darkness is: it's the absence of light, and something we each encounter when the sun goes down. Seeing darkness in broad daylight on the other hand, that's weird. It's also, astonishingly, a completely possible thing. Sitting on a piece of aluminum foil in Surrey NanoSystems' lab is something called Vantablack -- a low-temperature carbon nanotube material that absorbs 99.96% of all light that touches it. It's effectively the darkest material on the planet, and anything draped in becomes non-reflective, losing any and all surface detail. So, what's the point? This new ultra dark material uses a low-temperature process, which allows it to be applied to things like stealth vehicles or telescopes, allowing them to avoid detection or see farther, respectively. The firm says it's scaling up production for customers in the defense and space sectors. The company says it's already delivered its first orders, and says its working on an even darker version of Vantablack. Well, here's to a darker future.

[Image credit: Surrey NanoSystems]

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This new carbon nanotube material is the darkest thing on the planet