Underwear as we know it today did not exist until 1959 when DuPont chemist, Joseph Shivers, created a synthetic fibre, Spandex from polyurethane.

Polyurethane is made by reacting polyols and diisocyanates, both products derived from crude oil.

The exact molecular formula for polyurethane is C27H36N2O10

So next time you pull on those tighty-whities, keep in mind the journey those elements have made.

Once they were insects and plants thriving on the surface of the earth. Then over hundreds of millions of years reduced to crude oil hundreds of metres under the earth. Then some incredible engineering brought that oil to the surface where chemists refined it into a fabric which you’re now sat on.

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