One of the more horrible weapons humanity has conceived is the antipersonnel landmines. While we have plenty of ways to kill each other, those devices are intentionally designed

to injure rather than kill in order to increase the logistical support (evacuation, medical) burden on the opposing force


There is a treaty to ban AP landmines. Embarrassingly enough, the U.S. has decided to not sign that treaty yet, finding itself in the company of states like Syria, Lybia and North Korea. But even once every nation signs that treaty, we’re still left with the fact that there are decades worth of “leftover” landmines from previous conflicts, causing about 7000 dead and casualties a year.

Cleaning them up, however, is an expensive and dangerous undertaking. Often, there are no plans at all indicating where the mines are buried exactly. That means they need to be located, either risking lives or requiring expensive equipment.

Thankfully, humanity has just gained an ally in that fight. Rats. No, seriously.

People have figured out that rats have a keen sense of smell, and, on top of that, are not heavy enough to actually trigger mines. As a result, they can move freely in mine fields, locating all mines by just the smell of the explosives. As a result, HeroRATS was born.

Yes, training the rats still costs money – but it’s less expensive than technical equipment, and it can be done locally, even in 3rd world countries. As for the money part, you too can help by adopting a herorat.

Of course, the question with all help agencies is, are they legit? As far as I can tell, yes. They are a Belgian NGO, and PBS did a report on them.

So, what are you waiting for?


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