Vantablack, developed by the UK company Surrey NanoSystems, is one of the darkest substances known, absorbing up to 99.965% of visible light.

"VANTA" is short for "vertically aligned nanotube arrays", hinting at how it works: when light hits the material, instead of being reflected, it becomes trapped between the parallel-aligned nanotubes, which are grown on a surface material using a vapor deposition process.

In addition to the grown variant, the company also sells sprayable paints, where the nanotubes are randomly oriented. It's used in the aerospace and defense sectors, and in art.

Soon after the material was announced, British Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor negotiated a contract with them saying that he was the only one allowed to paint using this substance.

(To be continued?)