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Behold, the fish cannon | The Verge

Stashed in: Fishies!, Weapons!, Washington State, Interesting

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Whooshh Innovations ("Whoosh" was already taken) first designed its tubes to transport fruit, but as Washington state debated what do about hydroelectric dams and the salmon whose migrations they blocked, the company saw its technology might have another purpose. If Whooshh tubes could send apples flying over long distances without damaging them, maybe, an employee thought, they could suck fish up and over the dams blocking the Columbia river.

"So we put a tilapia in the fruit tube," says Todd Deligan, Whooshh's vice president. "It went flying, and we were like, ‘Huh, check that out.'"

Five years later, they have tubes tailored for trout and salmon. A test is being run at theRoza Dam in Washington state, where Chinook salmon went through the tubes in June. So far, Deligan says, they seem to be doing well. The Department of Energy will run another test in September, and in several weeks — whenever the salmon show up — the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will use a 150-foot-long mobile tube system to rocket salmon up a 20-foot embankment into the back of a truck.


The test in June showed that fish will voluntarily enter the tube. When they swim into the entrance, the vacuum sucks them in and gives them initial boost; after that, elevated pressure behind the fish keeps them moving at about 15 to 22 miles per hour till they go flying out the other end. The speed, Deligan says, can be adjusted. Mist is applied to keep the fish wet as they zoom along. Currently the tubes are being hand-loaded, but Deligan says the test at the Roza site showed that "the fish just swim right in."

"We have to take it at its face value," Deligan says. "Try it, put a fish in, watch it go, laugh. But then really contemplate where this could go."

Where could this go?! Weaponry???


One of my favorite Reddits of all time.  Still laughing.

Yeah, they really had a great sense of humor about this one. :)

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