These ‘Artificial Gills’ Won’t Work, But They’re Raising A Fortune

The Triton artificial gill is scientifically impossible, and even a cursory glance of the company’s IndieGoGo page combined with a basic knowledge of science will tell you that. They claim it uses a microporous filter that keeps out water while letting in oxygen, and we’ll let diving experts explain why that’s a crock in more detail. But essentially, even if this thing functions the way it claims, there’s not enough pressure, battery energy, or oxygen to make this something that would let you breathe underwater.

But, apparently, belief is stronger than science, because the Triton is making bank. As of this writing, the IndieGoGo page for the Triton has racked up $837,000, well above their $50,000 goal. And it’s not just suckers buying these one at a time; the $1100 “retail pack” of five, limited to 500 backers, is sold out. So, provided this thing ever actually shows up at the door of the people who bought it, a lot of beachfront novelty shops will be trying to unload this thing.

On one level, this just another demonstration of Thomas Tusser’s proverb about fools and their money. Then again, there is a pretty good chance somebody is going to pop this thing in their mouth, go for a swim, and suddenly find themselves a bit too deep and lacking the air they need to get out. That said, it’s a bit surprising IndieGoGo hasn’t shut down what pretty much every bit of coverage has referred to as an obvious fraud. It just goes to show you that when it comes to crowdfunding, there’s another proverb to keep in mind: Buyer beware.

(Via IFL Science)