This isn't an alien spine. Nor is it some elaborate climbing frame. It's a new synthetic material called NU-110 — and it has the highest surface area of any man-made material.
To give you some idea of what that means, if the internal surface area of one metal-organic NU-110 crystal the size of a grain of salt could be unfolded, it would cover a desktop. If that makes you shrug, a single gram of the stuff has the same surface area as one and a half football fields. [Journal of the American Chemical Society]