Non-lethal Laser Weapon Is the Latest Defense Against Pirates

Pirates! They're everywhere, huh? On the high seas, in the theaters, on the Internet. The ocean-dwelling ones better watch out though, pun totally intended, because a new non-lethal laser weapon aims to blind them into thinking twice about that booty.

The new weapon is very much what it sounds like: An adjustable, low intensity laser that—at a distance of about 1,500 meters—will make it seem as though the target is looking directly into the Sun. Only a brief, accidental look into it, though, as looking into the Sun is actually quite dangerous!

And should the pirates try and defend against the laser with, say, a pair of Oakleys, they'll still be blinded:

"Sunglasses wouldn't help," [said BAE Systems rep Bryan Hore, whose firm invented the laser weapon, in an interview with New Scientist] ... In fact, wearing them would only exacerbate the effect. That's because the glasses would not affect the green laser light – chosen because that colour is particularly irritating – but the laser would appear even brighter contrasted against the darkened background.

Better still, the laser beam is a full meter wide, meaning it can target entire pirate crews as they scream toward cargo ships in their tiny, well-armed dinghies. Even at greater distances the laser will serve as a warning beacon for pirates, letting them know what awaits them on that particular ship should they decide to tread closer. [New Scientist]