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‘Vantablack’: what the darkest color ever invented is like

It is the main topic in recent days in the fashion sector. We talk about Vantablack, the darkest color ever invented. We have to go back to 2014, when British scientists from Surrey NanoSystems, a company specialized in nanotechnology and research, decided to investigate to create the blackest black so far.

From that idea arose the Vantablack, a pigment capable of swallowing 99.96% of the light it receives, obtaining the darkest substance ever generated by man, for aerospace purposes in satellite calibration systems. In short, they managed to produce a kind of miniature light hole.

The name is an acronym for Vertically Aligned Nano Tube Array, and as we have already mentioned before, it is not a painting itself. It is made up of millions of carbon nanotubes: each approximately 5,000 times finer than a human hair. In a single square centimeter of the pigment we can find 1,000 million nanotubes.

This causes any light projected onto the surface to be almost completely absorbed and converted to heat, instead of being reflected, which is what usually happens when we use black.

Vantablack Features

When an object is coated with Vantablack it becomes two-dimensional to human eyes: wrinkles disappearthe volumes, the protuberances and the shapes.

That is to say, if we put a mask on our face that completely covered the face in this pigment, the sensation of other people looking at us would be that of watching a flat screen. The aim is to achieve the sensation of looking into space.

It also has other capabilities, such as hydrophobia, its resistance to vibration from a launch or being able to withstand temperatures between -196 and 300 degrees.

Commercial use

Its current commercial use is not allowed for security reasons, although it has been attempted to be implemented in some products.

In 2019, MBW presented a car model in collaboration with Surrey Nnosystems coated in this color, which generated a kind of invisibility cloak. They called it the BMW X6 Vantablack, and when viewed from the front or side it looked like a flat silhouette.

Obviously, this design was never marketed, since being so dark in color it could cause serious accidents on the road.

Black as a simile of sadness

Ventablack has gone viral thanks to the series Fleishman Is Trouble, in which the protagonist, extremely depressed, decides to go to the American Museum of Natural History to see an exhibition dedicated to the color black, with which he identifies.

in the west black is the color of mourning, so it is common for us to assimilate this color with sadness and even relate it to death. It is also associated with darkness and night, and even with danger and the unknown.

In terms of feelings, it represents loneliness and sadness, but also anger and aggression. On a personal level it can refer to concealment, the mysterious and withdrawn or introverted people.

In fact, if we go to the world of fictionthe darkest and most mysterious characters in history dress in black: from the little girl of the Addams family, Wednesday, to Maleficent, the antagonist of Sleeping Beauty.

Therefore, the creation of Vantablack is intended reflect the existential void that many people suffer throughout their lives.

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