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Scientists might have found a way to recreate Roman concrete

Mosa'ab Elshamy / AP

Concrete used by the Romans to build their cliff-side cities, bridges and sea walls more than two thousand years ago have withstood time and still stand strong today, while modern concrete exposed to seawater deteriorates within decades.

Now researchers may have figured out what has made Roman concrete so durable, and the University of Utah's Marie Jackson thinks she might be able to recreate it, per the Washington Post. The Roman's secret: the concrete contains tiny crystals that keep it from fracturing.

Why it matters: If successful, the concrete could be used to make sea walls that can protect shoreline environments from flooding and rising seas.