Sarah Hedgecock · 05/14/14 02:15PM

Miners are helped by rescue workers and friends from a coal mine on Wednesday in Soma, Turkey, more than 19 hours after an explosion and fire killed at least 238 miners and trapped hundreds more. Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said 787 workers had been in the mine when the blast occurred. Image via Ozgu Ozdemir/Getty.

Those Job-Stealing Robots Are Going After the Navy's Mine-Hunting Dolphins

Mallory Ortberg · 12/02/12 03:34PM

It's a textbook case of not appreciating what you have until it's gone: the U.S. Navy plans to replace some of its mine-hunting dolphins with unmanned submersibles described as "12-foot torpedo-shaped robot[s]" by 2017. Were you even aware before this announcement that the Navy had a $28 million-dollar marine mammal program based in Southern California? Or that it began in the 1950s and at one point also included "killer whales and sharks"? If not, you must feel this loss all the more keenly.