03/12/2013 12:40 EDT | Updated 03/14/2013 10:30 EDT

Reports Of Ukrainian Attack Dolphins On The Loose A Hoax

UPDATE: It seems that the too-weird-to-be-true story about trained attack dolphins was in fact too crazy to be true. The Atlantic has posted an updated, explaining that the false story started as a hoax from a museum director, then made its way into the media.

Three attack dolphins trained by the Ukrainian military may have escaped in the Black Sea, "dolphin scientist guy" Justin Gregg wrote on his blog.

"Apparently they swam away from their trainers this morning ostensibly in search of a 'mate' out in open waters," he wrote.

The twist? These dolphins may have been trained to attack swimmers and may be armed with guns and/knives on their heads. We're not sure how a dolphin uses a gun, but if you're swimming in the Black Sea the next little while you may want to watch out for dolphins looking to mug unsuspecting swimmers.

Russian media does point out that these trained dolphins return to their human masters after a week or so.

Apparently, dolphins have been part of Russia's military since the 1970s. After the break-up of the Soviet Union, the dolphins became part of the Ukrainian Navy.

Wired's Danger Room blog also points out that arming dolphins isn't the smartest idea, because they can't tell friend from foe. Also, because they're dolphins!

The United States military also has a dolphin program but points out that its animals are not trained for attack missions.

There are also rumours that Iran may have bought trained dolphins from Russia after the Cold War.

H/T the Atlantic

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