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Scientists' mistake uncovers 'impossible material'

impossible materialSometimes screwing up a science experiment isn't such a bad thing. Case in point: Researchers in Sweden accidentally left their equipment running on an experiment over a weekend, and ended up creating something awesome — Upsalite, the world's most efficient water absorber, reports The Independent.

This substance, prohibitively expensive and difficult to produce until now, can potentially do everything from controlling moisture on a hockey rink to cleaning up toxic waste and oil spills, reports Science Blog.

This "is expected to pave the way for new sustainable products in a number of industrial applications," says nanotechnology professor Maria Stromme.

Scientists have been trying — and failing — to cheaply create a dry, powdered form of magnesium carbonate since the early 1900s, earning it the nickname the "impossible material."

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