Iranians Take Threat of Espionage to a Whole New Level

Its Undercover Chameleon!

What Lizard, it must be well camouflaged!

 

Lizards were lurking around uranium mines, soaking up atomic waves and delivering intel on the Iranian government, According to Hassan Firuzabadi, a senior Iranian military advisor broke the story to media outlets earlier this week.

According to a local Iranian news agency, a group of environmentalists have been under arrest since late January, Firuzabadi was quoted as saying that, in the environmentalists' possession, they found lizards and chameleons. Allegedly these were deployed to find where Iran was mining and developing uranium. The lizards' skin, Firuzabadi said, was capable of attracting atomic waves. The espionage effort, he added, had failed.

It's unclear how or why Firuzabadi reached this conclusion, but this alleged attempt would have failed regardless because lizard skin isn't capable of absorbing measurable atomic waves, say scientists. Further, as cold-blooded animals, the lizards likely would not have sought out cool, dark caves. (Although these cave-dwelling crocs may be becoming a new species.)

Hassan Firuzabadi, Senior Military Advisor

It's not the first time animals have been accused of spying—not by a longshot. Read on for more surprising examples!

 

SCAVENGING FOR INTEL

In 2016, a large griffin vulture with a six-foot wingspan crossed the Israeli border into Lebanon. When the bird was caught by local villagers, it was found to be wearing a small tracking device on its foot. The locals suspected the animal was being used to spy on them.

The real reason the vulture was wearing a tracker? It was part of a program to repopulate raptors in the Middle East and had been living at the Israeli Gamla Nature Reserve. It was eventually returned to its home after UN peacekeepers intervened.

An Israeli vulture was also detained in 2011 by the Saudi Arabian government. That griffin vulture was wearing a GPS tag owned by the University of Tel Aviv, which was studying the endangered bird's movement patterns.

 

Drone Vulture?

SQUIRRELY BEHAVIOR

Iran isn't a stranger to alleging animal espionage. In 2007, they detained 14 squirrels that were said to be equipped with spying equipment. Allegedly, the squirrels had some sort of small recording or radio device that was used for eavesdropping.

At the time, national police confirmed they were aware of the story, but did not divulge more information about where they thought the squirrels came from or what happened to them.

A former CIA agent, and wildlife professor John Koprowski, who were both extremely skeptical that squirrels could be trained for such a purpose.

 

 

Regiment Badge?

 

 

A FEW GOOD DOLPHINS

While lizards, vultures, and squirrels are more outlandish accusations of animal spies, some may not be as far-fetched.

In 2015, Hamas—a Palestinian political organization that the U.S. State Department has accused of terrorism—claimed they apprehended a dolphin that was spying for Israeli forces.

The reported allegations that the dolphin was outfitted with spying equipment, including but not limited to cameras.

The details of that story remain murky, but it's indisputable that dolphins have been used in military tactics a number of times over the years.

In 2014, when Russia took over Crimea and infiltrated a Ukrainian military unit, they found several "combat dolphins." The marine mammals were believed to be used to find underwater targets like mines or to block intruders from entering restricted areas.

 

Combat Dolphin, Armed to the teeth!

 

In the 1960s, the U.S. Navy ran a similar program. Arepresentative from the marine mammal research program at the University of Hawaii said that the U.S. has not only used dolphins as guards, but the animals are also highly skilled at detecting underwater mines.

Dolphins' echolocation is so precise, they've even been used in lieu of machines.

 

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