Oil spill? Pff, whatevs. The new undersea menace is considerably more dangerous, where by “more dangerous” I mean “less dangerous, but  more awesome.” That’s right, folks: I’m talking about sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads.

(We got the ill-tempered mutated sea bass ages ago.)

Far from being the plaything of an evil genius, these sharks are a publicity stunt by a company called Wicked Lasers, which promised to create the hideous fish-machine hybrids if enough people liked the idea on Facebook. OBVIOUSLY enough people did, so the company attached a 50-milliwatt laser to the dorsal fin of a lemon shark.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Marine biologist Luke Tipple, who carried out the procedure, claims that the experiment was not just a mad demonstration of power:

Tipple said the experiment was instructive in a number of ways. For starters, he was able to further test his clamping apparatus, which is typically used for traditional data-aquisition equipment.

He also wanted to verify anecdotal evidence that sharks avoid laser energy of specific spectrums and wavelengths. Curiously, at least with the Wicked Lasers model, he found the opposite to be true: “Although further testing is necessary, time and time again, sharks were actually attracted to the laser beam,” he said.

Finally, he said the experiment was helpful in measuring a shark’s velocity and trajectory in real time. “We were able to see how their body positioning relates to a target,” he said. “You can get a very clear description, via the laser, of what the shark’s body is doing.”

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Oh sure, sure, it’s allllllll about the shark research. It’s not at ALL about the wanton destruction.

Well okay, it’s actually not about the wanton destruction, because a 50-milliwatt laser isn’t going to cause any. This guy was basically suited up with a strong laser pointer; the worst he was going to do was drown a determined cat.

But in fact no cats were harmed, and no sharks were harmed (they clamped the laser on painlessly, then took it back off; the shark likely noticed its presence but wasn’t too fussed), and no planets were conquered. BORING. Still, it’s kind of cool to think that we briefly shared a planet with a laser shark. Next we should do dogs with bees in their mouths and when they bark they shoot bees at you!