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Why Squirrels Are Such a Big Problem for Our Infrastructure’s Security

Technology By
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Squirrels are an unexpectedly big threat to infrastructure. (Getty Images)


If you take out a city’s power grid, you leave its population largely incapacitated. (Witness New York City during the blackout of 2003.) Who  would do such a thing? Terrorists? Enemy nations? Squirrels?

Really, squirrels. Security expert Chris Thomas has been tracking power cuts since 2013 and found that more than 1,700 of them have been caused by animals. Of those animals, squirrels were responsible for 879 incidents. For those curious, birds were second at 434 and snakes a very distant third at 83. (That said, even jellyfish got in on the act: one clogged the pipes that carry cool water to the turbines and shut down a Swedish nuclear power plant in 2013.)

Additionally, squirrels killed six people during this time period by downing power lines that hit them on the ground. Thomas concluded that, for now at least, the threat of cyberwarfare has been overshadowed by these small but relentless creatures.

To read more about squirrel attacks, click here. The video below is a brief reminder for every bird-feeder owner just how ineffective “squirrel-proofing” tends to be.

RealClearLife Staff