One doesn't generally put the words "killer" and "dolphin" together. Even "killer whale" seems to be un-PC these days (orcas have feelings too!). Apparently, however, these creatures do exist -- and they could currently be "on the loose." Looking for love, no less! Oh Flipper, what's become of you?!
Thoroughly confused? Here's the deal: According to the Russian state media agency RIA Novosti, three dolphins escaped from a Ukrainian naval training base in Sevastopol, possibly to locate potential mates. What were dolphins doing on a naval training base? Why, being trained to "detect mines and attack enemy swimmers," of course.
Predictably, the Ukraine Defense Ministry denies the existence of any such "attack dolphin" training program. You know, kind of like how the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program claims it "does not now train, nor has it ever trained, its marine mammals to harm or injure humans in any fashion or to carry weapons to destroy ships." Dolphins did, however, "help" the Navy during the Vietnam War and in the Persian Gulf by "patrolling the area with their sonar," alerting armed guards if they detected a swimmer, and "tagging enemy swimmers with a marker."
Whaaaaa?!? Am I the only one who didn't know this was, like, a THING? Other "marine mammals" supposedly trained (by the Soviets) include "walruses, sea lions, seals, and a white beluga whale" -- at least some of which "had been trained to attack enemies with weapons including harpoons."
Okay, I get that dolphins are super smart. But how could this ever seem like a good idea to anyone? How can animals really tell which swimmers are "enemy" swimmers? And how exactly are they trained to kill? Do they always need weapons or can they fight bare ... finned? It just seems so absurd. And scary. Not only do I feel bad for these animals, I feel a little freaked out knowing any nation's security is being handled by dolphins. They're just too cute.
Do you think "killer dolphins" really exist?
Image via john norton/Flickr