New Gadgets: Triton – breathe underwater like a fish using ‘gills’ – Real or Scam?

Well, it does sound too good to be true... so is it?

A new Indiegogo campaign, which was able to collect $594,187 (at the time this article went live) or 12 times its target caught our eye. It claims to be the world’s first “Artificial Gills Re-breather” and tells us that it has been featured in big websites like Huffington, Yahoo News, RT and Softpedia. What they fail to mention is the fact that all the ‘reputable’ sites that did mention them, were very skeptical of their claims!

Ok, for those of you who don’t know what we are talking about, lets first ‘enlighten’ you with their ‘claims’. They say that is the world’s first snorkel like device, with ‘artificial gills’ technology for breathing & swimming in upto 15 feet underwater.


triton gills

A completed ‘device’ pictured on a beach – Source: Triton’s Indiegogo

The catchy video shows a person in a pool wearing this device (which is very similar to something that was featured in two of James Bond movies, Thunderball and Die Another Day) and swimming underwater and breathing, just like one does with the scuba gear, except, there is no cylinder and no heavy gears in this one.

How does it (supposedly) work?

“Triton employs cutting-edge technology to produce ‘artificial gills’. The Microporous Hollow Fiber makes breathing underwater possible”

“The holes of the threads are smaller than water molecules, they keep water out and let oxygen in. The micro compressor then extracts and stores the oxygen – allowing you to breathe naturally and revel in your underwater freedom.”
Triton 'artifical gills' is a fraud
“We are using a very powerful modified micro compressor, it compresses oxygen and stores the extracted oxygen in a storage tank. The micro compressor operates through a powerful modified lithium-ion battery.”

Too good to be true? Of course!

First of all, even IF, and thats a big if, it works, you’ll likely die or get seriously ill due to ‘oxygen poisoning‘ (i.e. breathing 100% pure oxygen is not really a good idea). However, we can confidently call it for what it is: excellent marketing, some good video effects and a fraud!

The concept of Triton was floated in late 2013, and even back then, many people caught their lie (notable among those is Alistair Dove from It is simply impossible for a device this size, using the methodology it claims, to provide enough oxygen for normal humans to breathe. Here’s why (credit goes to for the original research)

  • A typical human being breathes about 500 ml of air/breath [source]
  • Of that 500 ml, 21% is oxygen entering into the lungs, and 16% is oxygen coming out, which means they consume about 5% of the volume of each breath as pure oxygen, or about 25 ml (0.845 fl oz) in volume which is 0.00111 moles or 35.52mg (0.00125 oz)
  • On average, sea water contains around 6mg/L of oxygen (in very ideal conditions, rivers can have up to 12mg/L of oxygen)
  • So, to provide for one breath of oxygen, the Triton would have to filter 35.52mg/6mgL = 5.92L (12.5 pints) of water, in case if its 100% efficient. If efficiency is below 100%, that amount would increase.
  • Human’s breathe around 15 times per minute when resting.  Lets assume we are totally calm and resting under water. Therefore to provide for a minute of oxygen, the Triton would have to filter around 89 liters of water per minute or 23.5 gallons. That is under very very ideal conditions. A quarter horsepower motor pumps about 25 gallons of water per minute. This gadget seems much smaller than that pump. The Triton doesn’t even have a pump, it rather relies on swimming and breath suction to create the water flow.
triton disection

Check out the size of the air tank and compressor

There is no engineer or scientist on the team, they are all businessmen or ‘designers’ aka artists. Also to note is that here is no physical address for Triton mentioned anywhere. So, what will happen to all those people who pitched in their money? If you can claim a refund right now, cool, otherwise too bad. You should have done more research! Here is what Indiegogo have to say in their terms and conditions:

“Indiegogo makes no representations about the quality, safety, morality or legality of any Campaign, Perk or Contribution or the truth or accuracy of User Content (as defined below) posted on the Services. Indiegogo does not represent that Campaign Owners will deliver Perks or that Contributions will be used as described in the Campaign. Users use the Services at their own risk.”

So basically they are screwed. It wouldn’t be the first time, and it certainly won’t be the last. So next time you see anything that is too good to be true (or even something normal on a crowdfunding website) do your due diligence!

Triton - The underwater respirator
Triton - The underwater respirator
The Good
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The Bad
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  • Science
  • Deception
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11 Comments on this post.
  • Koen
    30 March 2016 at 6:46 am
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    It is a total scam!!!

    I have been contributing 1 dollar to be able to make a comment and warn all people who backed this project and within a couple of minutes they refunded me so I wasn’t able to comment anymore. Besides that they deleted my comments. Right now when I try to do the same I am almost instantly refunded, so this proves to me that they are full of shit and are going to walk away with a million dollar if they succeed. So I strongly advise everyone to back out!

    IF this would be true you can always get it in the store eventually for 400 dollars which seems fine by me, but I really, really, really doubt this will ever come onto the market. There are too many red flags!!!

    • gadgets
      5 April 2016 at 6:00 am
      Leave a Reply

      Exactly! Unfortunately indiegogo and kick starter dont do much about these kinds of scams!

  • The big latest gadget 'scams' on crowdfunding websites
    10 April 2016 at 1:14 am
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    […] Featured New Gadgets: Triton – breathe underwater like a fish using… […]

  • txt29
    12 April 2016 at 1:22 pm
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    • gadgets
      12 April 2016 at 5:08 pm
      Leave a Reply

      thanks. Indiegogo finally admitted its a scam? They werent ready to listen before 🙂

  • WilliamOi
    13 June 2016 at 4:09 pm
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    I loved your article post.Thanks Again. Want more. Zeier

    • gadgets
      13 June 2016 at 4:35 pm
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      You are most welcome

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    4 September 2016 at 6:29 pm
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    10 March 2017 at 11:15 am
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