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Sweet Landmines

Because some countries just can't give them up.
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(+3, -1)
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The problem with landmines is that they don't lay down their arms and go home after hostilities have ceased.

UBCo's "Special Operations" division have come up with a range of truly nasty explosive compounds that have been laced with sugar and/or milk powder, to attract ants and other insects.

Weepholes that are blocked with a plug of material designed to degrade over time will open after a set period of time, allowing ants and subterranean scavengers the opportunity to carry away the nitrogen-rich contents of landmine casings, to harmlessly disperse the explosives, after the shooting and shouting has stopped.

Addition of attractant hormones may actually speed the process, if desired.

UnaBubba, Apr 12 2012


       Apiarists introduce new queens to a hive by putting them in a small mesh cage blocked with a bit of hard candy. By the time the bees eat through the candy the hive has acclimated to her scent and don't kill her as an outsider. This type of plug would dissolve with moisture over time and you could either have your explosive degrade slowly with moisture or degrade "quickly" ie explodes when wet.   

       However, this system would not provide grist for the many puns available along the lines of "ant-i mine device" "ant-i personnel weapons" and so on.
AusCan531, Apr 12 2012

       True, but an exploding Apple-flavoured 'phone handset could become an iMine.
UnaBubba, Apr 12 2012

       Self-inerting landmines are Baked and [widely-known-to-exist].   

       Getting ants to eat the charge is doubtful; most of the cheap toe-poppers (the ones most dangerous to civilians) use compositions based on Potassium Chlorate or similar which is fairly toxic to most life, but does have the advantage (for inerting) of being very water soluble.
8th of 7, Apr 12 2012

       Self-inerting land mines may be widely known to etc., but do any of them rely on insects for disassembly?   

       //Potassium Chlorate or similar// Fairly toxic, but water soluble, then. Allowing it to leak into the soil may be good for inerting, but problematic in other respects. If you could encourage ants to sequester it, that'd be an improvement. How would the stuff behave if chewed into granules and accumulated in anthills? Would the anthills explode, or would it be safe, in the absence of a detonator?   

       The ants don't have to eat the stuff in situ, after all, you just need for the foragers to mistake it for food, and transport it to the colony.
mouseposture, Apr 12 2012

       ... and disperse it, harmlessly, as I suggested. You won't change the nature of the material but you'll reduce its concentration to such an extent it is no longer so much a destructive explosive as a noisy pyrotechnic, in the case of detonation of the small amount to be found in any particular spot.
UnaBubba, Apr 12 2012

       //to carry away the nitrogen-rich contents of landmine casings,//
With the added bonus that the arthropods will enjoy better cardiovascular health, at the possible expense of a few headaches, but since they've only got little heads, this won't be too bad.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Apr 12 2012

       Almost refrains from making a lame joke about antioxidants.
UnaBubba, Apr 12 2012


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