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The ‘Dune’ Stillsuit is Now Real: Yes, It Turns Sweat and Pee into Water

Bringing fiction to life, The Hacksmith team successfully constructs a DIY stillsuit that mimics the water-recycling suits from "Dune."


In Frank Herbert’s classic science fiction novel “Dune,” the harsh desert planet of Arrakis presents a unique challenge to its inhabitants: the scarcity of water. To survive in this unforgiving environment, the native Fremen wear “stillsuits,” full-body garments that recycle the wearer’s sweat and urine, providing a constant supply of drinkable water. While the concept may seem far-fetched, a group of intrepid engineers at The Hacksmith YouTube channel have taken on the challenge of creating a real-life stillsuit, and the results are surprisingly promising.

The Hacksmith team, known for their ambitious projects inspired by popular movies and video games, set out to build a functional stillsuit in just one day. The result is a DIY contraption that, while not as sleek as its Hollywood counterpart, manages to collect and filter the wearer’s moisture, allowing them to drink it through a tube.

At the heart of the suit is a thermoelectric cooler, a device commonly used to cool computer components. By running an electrical charge through two different types of metal, the cooler creates a cold side that attracts moisture from the air trapped inside the suit, much like a dehumidifier. The collected water is then stored in a drinking bladder and passed through an in-line water filter, making it safe for consumption.

Darryl Sherk, the brave team member who donned the stillsuit, found himself the subject of curious looks and questions around The Hacksmith headquarters. “Everybody keeps thinking I’m drinking my own pee,” he lamented in the video, highlighting the suit’s unconventional nature.

While the Hacksmith stillsuit is an impressive feat of engineering, it’s important to acknowledge that it’s far from a perfect solution. Dune is set roughly 20,000 years in the future, and the stillsuits described in the novel are undoubtedly the product of advanced technology and creative license. The Hacksmith’s version, cobbled together in a single day, is more of a proof of concept than a practical solution for surviving in a desert environment.

Nevertheless, the team’s efforts raise intriguing questions about the potential for innovative water conservation and recycling methods. As climate change and population growth put increasing pressure on our planet’s water resources, the idea of a wearable device that can recycle moisture may not be as far-fetched as it once seemed.

When asked about the taste of the water collected by the suit, Sherk’s response was simple: “Warm! Just like water!” While the thought of drinking one’s own sweat may be off-putting to some, it’s a testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

The Hacksmith’s stillsuit may not be ready for a trek across the Sahara, but it’s a fascinating glimpse into the world of DIY engineering and the power of science fiction to inspire real-world innovation. Who knows? Maybe one day, we’ll all be rocking stillsuits and sipping on our own sweat. Until then, we’ll just have to settle for watching the mad scientists at The Hacksmith push the boundaries of what’s possible.

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