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(AZCentral)   Giant rats trained to detect land mines. Designed to go "BOOM!" when one is found   ( azcentral.com) divider line
    More: Interesting  
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11345 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 May 2004 at 12:00 AM (14 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

87 Comments     (+0 »)

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2004-05-18 10:22:33 PM  
Dat rodent asplode yo!
2004-05-18 10:24:26 PM  
Mines gonna done bust a cap in yo....er...nevermind.

2004-05-18 10:31:07 PM  
A trained rat. I'm sure it makes a nice conversation piece for a date.

"Uh, yeah Templeton and I clear mine fields..."
2004-05-18 10:39:47 PM  
Sorry, gotta do it. It's the only thing that comes to mind...

Have you ever stopped to think about what rats do for fun?
Sure they crawl around and scurry,
yeah they're always on the run but a rat sure likes a good time
just like you and me
I'll prove it with a tale about a rat-infested brewery

It started with a little lad named vermin McCann
who fell upon a drink that made him feel like quite a man
he rounded up his furry boys,
though some wore a frown
they quickly changed their tune and they slammed a couple down.

One, two, one-two-three-four!
Come on all you good rats
we'll send you to heaven you'll find the pearly gates in the froth and the foam
'cause in these vats you've made quite a creation
a potion that turned the Guinness to gold!

Like mice behind a piper,
rats from all around soon headed for this factory in old Dublin Town.
They surely heard the news about this fancy new rat-brew they come,
they saw, they had a taste and knocked back a few

The rats were in a tizzy
addicted to the bone the hairy lugs were giddy
they were never going home
like a bunch of drunken pirates prepared to walk the plank they drank,
they sang, they took a plunge and in the beer they sank!
d23 [BareFark]
2004-05-18 10:49:52 PM  
PETA surrenders
2004-05-18 11:53:28 PM  
To head off the inevitable bad PETA jokes:

"We should have PETA people out there sniffing mines. Blowing them up is just an added benefit."

/Sounds like a case for the GBCLU
2004-05-19 12:05:07 AM  
I, for one, welcome our new rodent masters.
2004-05-19 12:06:49 AM  
Dread Pirate Roberts unavailable for comment.
2004-05-19 12:08:11 AM  
If I was one of these rats, I would totally mess with my handlers head.

I'd walk around sniffing at his feet all day.
2004-05-19 12:08:58 AM  
The fact that there are millions of landmines in existence punishing mostly civilians is horrific. Landmines and UXO are huge issues if you care about civilian life(and not just corporate profit).

In Vietnam a child dies every two days as a result of landmines and uxo. uxo in Laos is a huge issue.

All across Africa there are new landmines being cobbled together every day. Landmines suck because they greatly restrict access to otherwise farmable land.

What can YOU do? Get involved with a good group. Peace Trees Vietnam in Seattle is pretty cool. They clear mine infested areas and build housing and community centers...VERY GRASSROOTS http://www.peacetreesvietnam.org/
2004-05-19 12:11:42 AM  
What goes:

"scurry, scurry, scurry, sniff, scurry, oh sh....!" ?
2004-05-19 12:13:11 AM  
Dude, I call shenanigans. I don't think they exist....

2004-05-19 12:13:26 AM  
Landmine Action Week this week. Here's another interesting story...

http://www.themercury.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,9601610%255​E3462,00 .html
2004-05-19 12:16:46 AM  
I wonder what Princess Diana would think about this. She was a big anti-landmine advocate. I would rather see a rat get blown up than a dog or a person....unless it was a PETA member. great idea culbeda!
2004-05-19 12:17:45 AM  
[image from chking.com too old to be available]
2004-05-19 12:19:23 AM  
I've been working on the same thing with giant bats. Its just really hard to make those fcukers walk!
2004-05-19 12:20:47 AM  
You dirty rat! You missed the landmine that killed my brother! You dirty rat!
2004-05-19 12:24:37 AM  
how the hell do they train them if the first time they successfully find one they get asploded?
2004-05-19 12:26:17 AM  
Wonder how long before the Navy's dolphins and sea lions go on strike.
2004-05-19 12:28:13 AM  
"Throw a stick for a dog to fetch, and after 10 times the dog will say, 'Get it yourself, buddy,' " Weetjens said. "Rats will keep working as long as they want food."

This guy's never been around a Border Collie
2004-05-19 12:29:52 AM  
/wishing I had RTFA before posting
2004-05-19 12:29:58 AM  
[image from tracymorgan.net too old to be available]

That's CRAZY!!!
2004-05-19 12:31:11 AM  
how the hell do they train them if the first time they successfully find one they get asploded?

Maybe it's a quantity thing rather than a quality thing. They probably just dump a million rats on a small field and wait for the mines to asplode from sheer rat-mass.

Kidding... I have no idea. Trained rats seems very weird. Rats aren't cute, for one thing.
2004-05-19 12:31:57 AM  
[image from nytmare.org too old to be available]
2004-05-19 12:32:47 AM  
Slashdot to FARK transmission time: Roughly 12 hours

Usually it's the other way around. BoingBoing use to cycle everything faster, but the doctrainaire liberalism finally made me stop reading it. Too bad, since I like Cory's fiction...
2004-05-19 12:33:12 AM  
I wonder if PETA would actually care. I haven't seen any PETA signs saying, "Save the Giant Rats", or "Save the Bats" or other scary, less desirable animals.

"I'm an otter. I do cute human things with my hands!"
"You're free to go."
"I'm a cow."
"Get on the truck!"
"I'm an animal, I have rights"
"You're a baseball glove, get on the farking truck"

/denis leary
2004-05-19 12:33:43 AM  
What? No Richard Gere land-mine-up-the-poopchute jokes?
2004-05-19 12:34:01 AM  
[image from ninjaturtlesnetwork.com too old to be available]
2004-05-19 12:35:04 AM  
Trained by the military, powered by cocaine:

[image from planetboom.com too old to be available]
2004-05-19 12:35:13 AM  
how the hell do they train them if the first time they successfully find one they get asploded?

With every bit of respect, has nobody RTFA?

Rats are abundant, cheap and easily transported. At 3 pounds, they are too light to detonate mines accidentally. They can sift the bouquet of land-mine aromas far better than any machine. Unlike even the best mine-detecting dog or human, they are relentlessly single-minded.
They don't a splode. That's the great thing. They're cheap and you get more than one use out of 'em.

Now how you handle the unexploded mine once the rat sniffs it, that's a whole 'nother matter.

2004-05-19 12:36:48 AM  
"I'm an otter. I do cute human things with my hands!"

This has nothing to do with anything, but otters really do do cute human things with their "hands". At the Vancouver Aquarium we saw a feeding. I asked why they didn't feed them stuff in the shell (it was all sans shell). The attendant said, "To open shells they need rocks. If we give them rocks they break the glass."

Otters is kewl.
2004-05-19 12:37:12 AM  
Do your part for the USA! Donate your domesticated animal to fight the war on terrorism!

Remember, if we send them back in one piece then we didn't do our job!

/Would you like to know more?
2004-05-19 12:38:26 AM  
i trained a couple of rats for a maze project once. those guys will do anything for food, and they are deceptively smart.
2004-05-19 12:38:27 AM  
Tiny rat, look. We know you don't care and we respect that. But have you thought about working for your country? I can promise you a life of absolute leisure. All we do is sit in the shade drinking peach tea, while we sing songs about how much with love rats. "I love Rats, Rats are the best, Rats, Rats, Rats, Yaaaay Rates!" [Tiny Rat Has Agreed To Join Your Team] Alright. Before we get to the tea, we need you to defuse that landmine. Deadly when first laid, unstable after all these years. Now skitter over there, we don't have all farking day.
2004-05-19 12:41:50 AM  
those guys will do anything for food, and they are deceptively smart.


[image from readingmatters.co.uk too old to be available]
2004-05-19 12:44:24 AM  
Up to . . thirty . . inches . . long . . Ick! (*twitch*)

I even like mice and rats, but that's one big freaking rat.
The article says they're too light to set off mines.
They find the 'food smell' (TNT) and sit up and say,
"See what I found? I'm a good little rat, feed me!"

See the Public Service Message given by Tarvuz, above.
Mines are a danger to the civilian population in just about every nation of the world, except the US. Now, who do you think is the only major world power that refuses to consider any United Nations sponsored worldwide ban on the use of landmines? You get three guesses, and the first two don't count.
2004-05-19 12:44:36 AM  
[image from altpet.net too old to be available]
2004-05-19 12:44:45 AM  
[image from cinemanow.com too old to be available]
2004-05-19 12:46:08 AM  
Aw! That's one of the books that got me to specialize in Juve Lit, Fnord. A great read!
2004-05-19 12:48:27 AM  
Krisjohn> Don't you think you should have included a link to the original inspiration?
2004-05-19 12:49:10 AM  
crap, Fnord beat me to it, he even got the book cover!

/bows to superior internet skills
2004-05-19 12:50:31 AM  

"Don't eat the tuna fish!"
"Why not?"
"Dolphins get caught in the nets!"
"Well, what about the tuna fish?"
"Well, fark them, they taste good!"

/best. comedian. evar.
2004-05-19 01:10:04 AM  
Politicians and corporate executives around the globe are rounded up for service.
2004-05-19 01:10:08 AM  
[image from aotea.org too old to be available]
2004-05-19 01:13:23 AM  

The fact that there are millions of landmines in existence punishing mostly civilians is horrific. Landmines and UXO are huge issues if you care about civilian life(and not just corporate profit).

True. Mines and UXO and civilians do not mix. How ever, even though there are gazillions of mines and UXO buried in countries like angola and afghanistan, the numbers aren't the only thing that matters; prodding a square mile with 2 mines takes just about the same time as prodding a square mile with 10 000 mines.
Also, mines in right hands can be used pretty efficiently to deter enemy movement without civilian casualties. Propably not in the third world, but at least in the western world. Even in ww2 germans had very efficient system to buid and mark landmines, so that they were able to remove those very well (very good maps, fields had concrete plates with markings, mines had tiny fragments of radiactive material); dropping submunitions and using FASCAM over civilians or random targets is very different thing than using defensive minefields in war.
2004-05-19 01:16:26 AM  
Westley, what about the R.O.U.S.'s?
Rodents of Unusual Size? I don't think they exist.
R.O.U.S.: Aaaarrrrrgghhh!!!!

[image from members.aol.com too old to be available]
2004-05-19 01:18:14 AM  
Wow, you people are on a roll tonight. And, yeah, that ROUS is pretty much what I pictured too.
2004-05-19 01:18:56 AM  
Peta wont care about this. They only care when it's a cute animal in distress. Last year they freaked when the Navy was using trained dolphins to search for underwater mines in Basra harbor.

People Eating Tasty Animals
2004-05-19 01:22:45 AM  
Had a pet rat once.... totally smart and would play peek-a-boo and then rush around and play, almost like a dog. He seemed to have a sense of humor too.... but just shiat everywhere... He died young, of obesity I always suspected. Man did that guy have a set 'o balls...
2004-05-19 01:26:29 AM  
[image from gorenight.de too old to be available]
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