Scientists use lasers to create metal so hydrophobic water literally bounces off

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Jan 21, 2015, 5:40 PM EST (Updated)

Water might be the building block of human life, but the stuff can do a ton of damage to our tech and materials. Wood rots, basements leak, and metal rusts — but some wicked new tech could change that.

Scientists at the University of Rochester have used lasers to etch a new nanostructure onto metal, making it so hydrophobic that water shoots off like a kid on a trampoline. If it lands on it again, it just bounces right off. Again. Seriously, seeing it in action looks like some type of freaky magic. Even cooler: This method won’t wear off, meaning it’ll remain hydrophobic indefinitely. 

As Sploid notes, this technology could eventually be a major game changer with a ton of applications. This tech could make safer airplanes (since water couldn’t freeze on them) and waterproof devices like laptops, phones and even automobiles. On the humanitarian side, the metal could potentially be used for more effective water recollection systems and latrines in underdeveloped countries.

Check out a video of the metal in action below and geek out:

The one final question that’s driving us nuts — what would happen if you built a boat out of this stuff? Mind. Blown.

(Via Sploid)