Science: Barnacles Baffled

The Navy announced this week that it has finally solved an old nautical problem: how to keep barnacles off the bottom of a ship. The solution: a new plastic paint which makes bottoms so slick that for at least two years no barnacle can get a foothold.

Barnacles are a serious hindrance to a ship, slowing it down and making it clumsy to handle. Normally a ship must have her hull scraped every six to 18 months. But the new paint, developed by the Navy's Bureau of Ships, keeps a ship's bottom whistle-clean for two to five years. A brown, syrupy compound...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!