The tech industry is always on the lookout for the next big thing in batteries.

Scientists on the East Coast may have found it in crab shells.

(I don’t know how Mr. Krabs from SpongeBob is going to feel about today’s episode.)

We require a lot from batteries.

For one thing, we require a lot of them, for so many different devices, and now electric vehicles.

We want them to last a long time before they need charging, then we want them to recharge quickly, and we also want them to be affordable, and eco-friendly, and so on.

The current standard is the lithium-ion battery, which checks off a lot of those boxes.

But there are environmental concerns about parts of these batteries, and there have also been safety concerns about some types of the batteries catching fire.

A team at the University of Maryland has been working on a non-flammable zinc-ion battery that uses a substance called chitosan.

That’s found on the inside of crab shells, and foodies know that Maryland is famous for its crabs.

The idea is to create a safer, more eco-friendly battery that can still power our smartphones, laptops, cars and maybe even houses.

And it could be a bonus for Maryland’s crab restaurants, too.

Instead of just tossing all those shells out, they can set them aside for science!

This is typically the weekend in the city of Taketa, Japan for the Chikuraku Festival.

The city is well known for its bamboo forests, so each year they set out tens of thousands of bamboo lanterns on the steps of a temple for a stunning light show.

Don’t Toss Out The Crab Shells (WBOC)

20,000 Bamboo Lanterns Illuminate the Chikuraku Festival (Spoon + Tamago)

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Photo by Amy Campbell via Flickr/Creative Commons