Watch this sponge-like concrete soak up 4,000 liters of water in one minute.

Now this is some cool concrete.

When it rains, it pours. And for people who live in flood-prone regions, that's a problem.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.


Flooding, unfortunately, is not going away. In fact, in many areas, it's only getting worse.

(Thaaaaanks, climate change.)

Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images.

"While no single storm or flood can be attributed directly to global warming," the National Wildlife Federation notes, "changing climate conditions are at least partly responsible" for increasing bad weather — a reality that's burdening poor regions of the earth more so than developed ones.

And it doesn't help that more people are moving into cities. Global urbanization is transforming once perfectly permeable landscapes into concrete jungles where water can't drain into the earth. This can make for a flooding nightmare.

That's one reason this innovative concrete is so damn cool.

All GIFs via Tarmac.

It can soak up 4,000 liters of water in about one minute.

Seriously. 4,000 liters of water ... in just one minute.

Magic? Nah, just science.

It's called Topmix Permeable, it's created by U.K.-based company Tarmac, and it's fantastic. Empty space between concrete particles allows water to drain through its surface freely, emptying into permeable layers and the soil below. Unlike standard concrete, Topmix Permeable acts as a reservoir during downpours, storing water below its surface.

This could allow for concrete jungles to become spongier concrete jungles.

The concrete, however, is not without a few caveats. Because it can store water, it can't be installed in cold climates, where that water would routinely freeze and wreck the concrete. And while Topmix Permeable works great for low-trafficked areas with relatively light loads — think parking lots, residential streets, sidewalks, and bike paths — it would not hold up on, say, a busy expressway.

Still, its permeable ways could make a big difference in warm, urban areas that see a lot of rainfall.

This concrete could be a literal lifesaver one day.

Tarmac hopes its concrete will help cities reduce fatalities and injuries due to flash flooding, as excess surface water on streets and sidewalks can be dangerous, Business Insider Australia reported. Less surface water means less slippage, and that could mean fewer tragedies.

In the meantime, though, it's just a whole lot of fun to watch in action.

Watch Topmix Permeable do its work below:

Heroes
via James Anderson

Two years ago, a tweet featuring the invoice for a fixed boiler went viral because the customer, a 91-year-old woman with leukemia, received the services for free.

"No charge for this lady under any circumstances," the invoice read. "We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible."

The repair was done by James Anderson, 52, a father-of-five from Burnley, England. "James is an absolute star, it was overwhelming to see that it cost nothing," the woman's daughter told CNN.

Keep Reading Show less
Heroes

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less
LUSH

Handmade cosmetics company Lush is putting its money where its mouth is and taking a bold step for climate change action.

On September 20 in the U.S. and September 27 in Canada, Lush will shut the doors of its 250 shops, e-commerce sites, manufacturing facilities, and headquarters for a day, in solidarity with the Global Climate Strike taking place around the world. Lush is encouraging its 5000+ employees "to join this critical movement and take a stand until global leaders are forced to face the climate crisis and enact change."

Keep Reading Show less
Planet
Photo by Annie Bolin on Unsplash

Recent tragic mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton have sparked a lot of conversation and action on the state level over the issue of gun control. But none may be as encouraging as the most recent one, in which 145 CEOs signed a letter urging the U.S. Senate to take action at their level.

Keep Reading Show less
popular