As Russia seizes control of Crimea, one of the stranger things it will be taking over is a unit of trained military dolphins run by the Ukrainian Navy since the fall of the Soviet Union. Ukraine had planned to disband the program in April due to a lack of funds, but Russia has decided to keep it running.
The combat dolphin program—one of only two in the world, along with the U.S. Navy's dolphin unit in San Diego—is run out of a facility in Sevastopol. There, trained dolphins have learned to attack enemy divers and attach buoys to underwater targets, including mines.
Engineers at the facility were also building technology to convert readings from the dolphins' underwater sonar into visual cues an operator could read on a monitor, but they ran out of funding. A source told RIA Novosti that the dolphins are currently wearing very outdated equipment.
The source also revealed that the same facility is training sea lions. Combat sea lions. They're real.
[H/T: The Dodo, Photo Credit: AP Images]