Tampons are usually made of cotton, rayon or a mix of these two fibres. But maybe in the future they’ll be made of jellyfish.
Yes, you read that right. Jellyfish. And no, this isn’t as gross as it sounds. In 2014, researchers at the Tel Aviv University in Israel have created a super-absorbent material called Hydromash. The source of this material? Jellyfish bodies with some added nanoparticles for antibacterial reasons.
Jellyfish are made of 90% water, yet they don’t disintegrate in the sea. This fact led the scientists to believe that the creatures are capable of absorbing large amounts of liquid. More research and tests were done and Hydromash was made; a flexible material many times more absorbent than paper towels. It could therefore be used in diapers, medical sponges and of course tampons.
Seeing as Hydromash is biodegradable and eco-friendly, jellyfish tampons could well be an environmental solution for the tonnes of garbage synthetic sanitary products create each year. It takes hundreds of years before a normal non-recyclable tampon is broken down (especially if it’s individually wrapped in plastic). Hydromash however, breaks down in just 30 days.
As for the poor jellyfish, apparently they are a plague anyway. There are too many slimy stinging creatures in the sea, terrorising fish farms, boats and beaches. One more reason to turn them into tampons.
(Photo: Jellyfish in the Maui Aquarium by John Solaro /Flickr)