Britain is planning on deploying a sonic gun at the Olympics. Sonic gun? What on Earth is that?
Well, the answer is right there in the name, really. It’s a gun that shoots uncomfortably loud noises at very long ranges. Called a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD), these sonic guns can generate sounds up to 150 decibels (about as loud as a gun shot) and send the noise out to a range of nearly 2 miles.
The effectiveness of the sonic gun follows a pretty basic principle: people don’t like loud noises. Create a noise so loud that it can cause physical pain, and you’ve got a weapon that will have a pretty good chance of dispersing angry crowds.
One of the neat things about the LRAD is that when you’re not using it to shatter eardrums you can use it as one of the world’s most over-powered loudspeakers. England’s Ministry of Defense announced that it plans to primarily use the LRADs to communicate with boats on the River Thames. Hopefully, they won’t need to flip the switch and turn on death ray mode to disperse Olympic hooligans.
Here’s the big question in all this: Have international sports finally found a more annoying noise than those South Africa’s vuvuzelas?