China deploys ‘jellyfish shredders’ to protect its fleet of aircraft carriers
China has created a new weapon to destroy one of the biggest threats to its aircraft carriers - pesky jellyfish.
Dubbed the “Jellyfish shredder,” the Chinese weapon simply destroys the fish by chopping them into thousands of pieces. The threat of jellyfish sabotaging aircraft carriers is very real as the floating invertebrates can get sucked into the ships’ water intake pipes and clog the cooling systems.
In fact, in January 2006 a swarm of the creatures took out the USS Ronald Reagan while it was docked in Brisbane, Australia. The fish were sucked into the giant ship’s condensers, paralyzing it until technicians could clean up the blubbery mess.
The jellyfish shredder is a large net, several hundred meters long, with a set of sharp blades in the middle. The South China Morning Post reports that the net is towed by an accompanying boat which travels at high speed using the force of the currents to suck the jellyfish to their grisly demise.
The mass killing machine leaves a trail of destruction in its wake as the water becomes murky with decomposing matter. Researchers also warned that pieces of jellyfish that wash up on shore could sting bathers even though the creatures have been destroyed.
Another team of researchers from the Urban Robotics Lab at Korea’s KAIST university created a similar machine and released a video showing how it pulverizes the fish.
Not content with immobilizing warships, the gelatinous blobs also have a reputation for knocking out power plants. A nuclear power plant in Torness, Scotland was closed for an entire week in 2011 after a swarm of moon jellyfish blocked its cooling water intakes. Similar incidents have also taken place in the US, Japan, Sweden and Israel in recent years.