Research into invisibility cloaks, which work by bending light around 2D objects, could end up protecting offshore rigs and vulnerable coastlines from water. Scientists at the Fresnel Institute in Marseille, France said that established cloaking principles can be applied to ocean waves, and built a 10cm model to show how carefully placed concentric pillars make objects in the centre "invisible" to the sea.
Waves pass along the radial corridors, interacting with the pillars and producing forces that pull the water away from the innermost ring. The water is then pushed out of the cloaking area as if it had not encountered anything at all. The circular formation could be used to protect anything from oil rigs to islands, though very few islands can probably afford the amount of pillars needed to make this effect work. [New Scientist via Dvice]