U.S. Navy Taps into Hagfish Slime for Military Defense

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In Florida, U.S. Navy scientists and engineers have recreated a synthetic version of biomaterial hagfish slime for use in military settings. The Naval Surface Warfare Center team in Panama City created it from the alpha and gamma proteins of Pacific hagfish, also known as slime eels. While the hagfish slime threads have been compared to spider silk, the slime is also similar to super strong synthetic fiber Kevlar. Hagfish use their slime to protect themselves against predators and the U.S. Navy hopes it is as beneficial to the military for defense purposes.

One of the U.S. Navy biochemists who developed the material, Dr. Josh Kogot, told Military Spot “The synthetic hagfish slime may be used for ballistics protection, firefighting, anti-fouling, diver protection, or anti-shark spray. The possibilities are endless. Our goal is to produce a substance that can act as non-lethal and non-kinetic defense to protect the warfighter.”