The Dolphins That Went To War

“Works of the intellect are great only by comparison with each other.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

In A Nutshell

True to form, humans just love coming up with creativity ways to kill each other. One crazy way has been enlisting the help of dolphins. Dolphins have been trained to do things like sweep for mines, incapacitate terrorists, and even kill.

The Whole Bushel

Ahh, dolphins: Sweet, smart, delicious, and also capable of blowing your brains out. As animal lovers around the globe love to point out, our aquatic bottle-nosed allies are quite intelligent beasts. But as slightly more intelligent beasts, humans have figured out the best use for dolphins—as part of our militaries.

Thanks to their aforementioned intellect and superhero-like underwater sonar skills, our flippered friends are perfect for assisting human divers in locating underwater mines. In Iraq, the US used dolphins to clear harbors of mines which their technology could simply not detect without them. They are clever minesweepers as well, with the ability to distinguish between a mine and other underwater paraphernalia like coral or man-made debris. And it’s safe for the dolphins as well. Since there are so many aquatic animals in the harbor being swept, the mines are designed not to go off when fish, sharks, or dolphins swim by them; otherwise they’d be exploding all the time.

Article Continued Below

The dolphins are versatile, too. They can even be trained to kill. In 2000, a group of dolphins trained by the Soviets to kill enemy soldiers were sold to Iran. They were taught how to attack enemies with harpoons and even undertake kamikaze strikes.

It’s even happening closer to home for Americans. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a group of military dolphins may have escaped into the Gulf of Mexico equipped with poison dart guns and with a license to kill. Well, not kill, but the poison could incapacitate any swimmers or surfers the dolphins mistook for an enemy terrorist.

The US Navy refused to confirm if the dolphins were missing, although they admitted they existed. So there’s every chance there could be a dart-loaded dolphin out in the ocean, just waiting for its next military mission. Guns don’t kill people; dolphins with guns kill people.

Show Me The Proof

Armed and dangerous—Flipper the firing dolphin let loose by Katrina
Iran buys kamikaze dolphins
Dolphins Deployed as Undersea Agents in Iraq

Looking for our newsletter? Subscribe here!