Military Dolphins Could Go to Iran

The U.S. military has trained a group of dolphins to detect mines placed in sea water. The dolphins find mines and drop transponders near them. These small wireless devices emit a sound human divers can hear and use to find the locations of the mines, and then proceed to detonate them so they don’t damage ships.

The dolphins natural sonar capability is so effective, dolphins can tell the difference between human-made and natural objects, so they are very good at detecting mines, amongst other things.

The point of sending the dolphins to Iran is to have them ready in the event Iran begins placing mines in the Strait of Hormuz, which is a very important stretch of water for oil tankers leaving the Persian Gulf bound for foreign ports. In 2011, about 14 oil tankers each day traveled through the strait. Much of the oil passing through this site goes to Asian countries.

Recent news reports about Iran have confirmed it is possible they could close the strait thereby increasing oil prices for various countries and impacting their economies.

“Iran has never laid mines at the Strait of Hormuz, but it has placed mines inside the Persian Gulf. During its war with Iraq in the 1980s, a U.S. Navy ship hit a mine and was damaged. The U.S. responded by attacking Iranian aircraft and ships. The U.S. has several options if Iran tries to close the Strait of Hormuz now,” NPR reporter Tom Bowman explained.

Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations Mohammad Khazaee said on the Charlie Rose Show, “There is no decision to block and close the Strait of Hormuz unless Iran is threatened seriously and somebody wants to tighten the noose.” (Source: BusinessWeek)

Many people find the use of dolphins by the military offensive, to the say the least. Reportedly, no figures on military dolphin mortalities are available, but they are vulnerable to accidental mine detonations by their own closeness to them while conducting surveillance, and being attacked by enemy troops. There is also a possibility that native wild dolphins in a conflict zone might be mistaken by enemy troops as agents of their opponents and attacked.

Image Credit: NASA, Public Domain Wiki Commons

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Aditya Narayan
Aditya n.3 years ago


KS Goh
KS Goh3 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Jan Mach
Jan Mach3 years ago

To Bruce S.: That's why I don't even blink when the government members are killed.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener3 years ago


ISF MiddletownCT
Maryann Birdsall3 years ago you go not too many names, kinda sad.

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe3 years ago

@ISF, how do I get to your petition? I will sign it.

There has to be another way to detect mines.

ISF MiddletownCT
Maryann Birdsall3 years ago

@Shin, while that may be true, when you sign up for the military , it's YOUR job to do the work NOT a Dolphin's or a seal's! maybe they could close down the Navy branch and just use dolphins for everything huh?

Shin Takahashi
Shin Takahashi3 years ago

Dolphins could help to reduce the human casualties in that aggressive zone.Cheers

Carrie Anne Brown

thanks for sharing

Waltraud U.
Waltraud U.3 years ago

Horrortrip for them.
But where is save.
Thank you !