Thanks to science, there's a new new black in town: Vantablack, the darkest material known to mankind. Created by British company Surrey NanoSystems, it's made of teeny-tiny carbon nanotubes and absorbs all but 0.035% of visual light, creating a black so black that human eyes literally can't see it. Look at the photo above: it just looks like a void full of nothingness, right?
Vantablack is being positioned as a cool new asset to astronomers and other scientists who use highly photosensitive equipment, and of course, it would make one heck of a creepy Halloween decoration (that is, if you have a bajillion dollars on hand to purchase some.) But exciting as this breakthrough is, it's also a pity Vantablack wasn't invented in time to lend an extra degree of depth to some of the darkest moments in film and television history. Below, the best times that this new material could've been extra useful.
1. "Star Trek" Time Travel
In the 2009 "Star Trek" reboot, Spock inadvertently enables the destruction of his home planet when he and some angry Romulans are sucked through a black hole and deposited in the past. It's a dark storyline, for sure — but if he'd been sucked through a Vantablack hole, it would have been even darker.
2. Every Time Someone Bought A Box Of Acme Holes
Wile E. Coyote, Roger Rabbit, Bugs Bunny, and countless other animated characters have long suffered from poor quality control at the ACME factory. But with this new dark material, ACME could make the holiest holes the world has ever seen.
3. "Stargate," And The Opening Thereof
The addition of Vantablack would give these wormholes to another world the gravitas they deserve.
4. Making A Killer Shadow, Literally
Old-school "X-Files" episode "Soft Light," in which a scientist's shadow turns everyone it passes over into a pile of charred dust, could've used some darker matter for its primary special effect... as could a certain pivotal scene from "Killer Klowns from Outer Space."
5. When Stephen Canfield Showed His "Heroes" Superpower
Now that his black holes can be even blacker, maybe Mr. Canfield can come back for "Heroes Reborn."
6. When "The Langoliers" Made A Buffet Of The Past
In this long-ago miniseries based on Stephen King's novella of the same name, a group of unwitting time travelers encounter the cleanup crew of yesterday: giant mouthy monsters whose sole purpose is to eat the past and everything in it, leaving nothing in their wake but a black, empty void. The advent of Vantablack (and, um, better CGI technology) would have done a lot to make the Langoliers look legitimately scary. Or scary at all.
7. One Word: BATSUIT
Bruce Wayne is regretting his choice not to invest in Surrey NanoSystems so hard right now, you guys. Instead of just a Dark Knight, he could have been the Darkest Knight of All Time! OF ALL TIME.