How do seals, orcas, otters, and other animals manage to survive in such cold waters? Simply put, they do so by virtue of one of the following: blubber (which is essentially just a thick layer of insulating fat), thick coats of fur which trap tiny gas bubbles that in turn insulate the body, and higher rates of internal heat generation.
Drawing inspiration from these approaches, Professor Jacopo Buongiorno from the department of engineering at MIT has helped develop a wetsuit that allows people—such as Navy Seals—to remain in very cold waters for longer periods of time than conventional wetsuits made from neoprene clothing.
On today’s episode, Professor Buongiorno explains how traditional wetsuits work and why the one they’ve created outperforms them, the science and technology behind thermal conductivity, the feedback they’ve already received on this new product, and what’s on the horizon. Tune in for all the details