For serious. "We watched as the rats ran along wires between two handlers. When they smell a landmine, they stop, sniff the ground and begin to dig. This signal lets the Apopo staff know they have found a mine or some other explosive, which can then be removed.
Rats, according to Apopo, are much faster than men using metal detectors and are not distracted by metal contaminants. They are much cheaper to maintain than dogs and are easily passed between different handlers.
And they can be trained for other sensing tasks, too! "Apopo is already running trials in Tanzania using the rats to detect tuberculosis in the saliva of sick patients.
The rats can process as many samples in a matter of minutes as a lab technician can in a day. The rats have even detected TB in samples that had been missed by conventional tests. "
Warning, video of genius search process using big honkin' rat will disrupt your productivity today:
Here's Apopo's web site.