A new material made of graphene and light enough to balance on a flower has earned the title of lightest material on earth, beating the existing record holding graphite-based material

Aerogels are substances made almost entirely (but not completely) of air, and have been made from different materials over the years. Every time a new one comes along, it will usually be lighter and more amazing than the previous one, and this trend continues today: A graphite-based aerogel which held the record for lightest material on earth, was just dethroned when a similar graphene-based material was created, weighing in at an amazing 0.16mg/cm3, a reduction of 0.02mg/cm3 as compared to the graphite aerogel.

Insanely light doesn't even begin to describe this. Yes, it's resting on grass.


Researchers at China's Zhejiang University created this "graphene sponge", which is lighter than helium (the second lightest element in the periodic table), through a complex method involving freeze drying. The science team reports that the process used for creating the "aerographene" can easily be scaled up to create large chunks of the material, measurable in cubic meters, as opposed to the current cubic centimeter scaled ones.


This is a good thing, because aerographene has some amazing properties – it's able to absorb 900 times it's own weight, making it priceless in certain applications like as a clean up sponge after oil spills.


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