As humanity is getting increasingly desperate for power sources, it's time to think outside the box, even if that means turning to methods that would previously have only been employed by supervillains. Who thinks outside the box more than they do? Sure, these potential power sources we're tapping into would normally be considered ridiculous, cartoony or just plain evil. But are they worse than coal?
5A Battery That Runs Off of Human Blood
After trying for years to perfect a way to get power from stealing people's souls and then, when that didn't work, their tears, mad scientists have finally settled on getting electricity from human blood.
Scientists at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have invented a battery that is strong, flexible and, yes, powered by blood. And it even looks like a curled up old scab!
We didn't have to resist the urge to eat it, because we were never that kid.
This is actually just the latest step in a series of batteries called bio-batteries. They can run off of a number of bodily fluids, like sweat, urine or -- ah, there it is -- tears. So they can get power from all of the bodily fluids humans release in response to extreme terror. It's really a fear-powered battery, we guess. Hey, Monsters, Inc. was real!
Oh, also, it has to be implanted under the skin to work.
Even if it looks like a hunk of charred skin from a hot dog, it's actually an amazingly advanced little device. It has the texture of paper, but it draws electrolytes from your fluids and channels them through nanotech carbon tubes to create a usable energy supply.
Still, it's cooler than the alternative, which uses blood-feeding yeast.
The goal is not, apparently, to make a huge one and power it with a lake of blood from conquered human victims, but rather to help power medical implants. The papery nature of the batteries means they could be printed in sheets and easily cut to the size and shape needed for the patient. Then, once the thing is drawing juice from your natural fluids, you don't have to worry about changing the battery. It also seems like you could replace the mat in a UFC ring with this stuff and power the whole stadium with the sweat and blood from fighters, but we haven't heard of any prototypes for that yet.
Apparently broken teeth short circuit the whole thing.
By the way, as creepy as this seems, it's still less hardcore than the old way of powering devices like pacemakers: they used to use nuclear power. They would have a little hunk of plutonium inside the battery, and as it decayed, it released enough heat to power the device. Whenever a patient passed away, they'd have to ship her freaking pacemaker to Los Alamos to safely dispose of the nuclear material inside.
"Should you worry about the radioactivity? I wouldn't say so. Not with a heart like that."