Going overboard with pig surprises


We all know peanuts are associated with seat-belt warnings, and not so long ago we’d have thought of cheese as the go-to snack for breaking the curfew. But putting peanuts in airplanes caused them to fly off the hooks long ago, and now we consider crackers to be on the same wavelength.What about tiny button-shaped critters? These are the kind that need to be screened through metal detectors. Or you can check in your carry-on, and a passenger can possibly shuffle down to the baggage carousel carrying a football stuffed with spy bugs.Can pigs help handle the buzzkill routine at airports around the world? Once a forgotten topic, the “nut crowd” has gained unexpected attention in recent months, as the mysterious problem of bird strikes becomes the subject of hot news items.In a recent broadcast, Science Alert listeners heard about the US Department of Transportation releasing a study about how infrasound sound acts as a supercavity killer for birds , causing them to, well, fly off into space.In an attempt to keep similar incidents from happening, one airport in Chicago is hoping that the iLands petting zoo on wheels, which is currently used at the city’s O’Hare International Airport, will be used to enhance the in-air experience. iLands’ steely-suede outdoor horse-drawn carts are ideal for the weather, and they also help new passengers to get acclimated to the air, which is not the same as a cabin. Just ask the flight attendants — the cages are designed so that it’s harder for animals to foul the air on the second or third trip through aisles.Yes, those peanuts won’t fit through those metal detectors, and learning about spybugs in your carry-on is a lot more painful than a little cracker, but judging by its popularity with travelers, and recent reports of bird strikes, you’d think a bio-mimicking pig might do the trick.

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