Drones are responsible for incredibly cool videos and photos in some of the most remote and breathtaking places we've ever seen (like this Icelandic volcanic eruption). But when it comes to public use, many of us aren't so enthused about being filmed (except for the 'Drone Boning' participants) by a robot that sounds like a swarm of bees. In fact, the national parks have taken a stand against drones by banning them, so forget bringing your quad copter to Volcanoes National Park — unless you want to get tasered.
While we're certainly annoyed by drones while we're trying to enjoy the outdoors, most attacks on drones, however, come from nature itself. Take the bighorn ram in the New Zealand countryside that struck a drone flying too close for its comfort. The ram head-butted the drone, and then turned his angry attention to the operator after he realized who was responsible for the nuisance. The drone owner wrote on his YouTube channel, "When I went to retrieve the drone, he followed me. I had my hands full, so he got me pretty good."
Nature got the best of disturbing technology again when two drones were sacrificed in the name of National Geographic to the flames of an active volcano on the island of Vanuatu. Explorer Sam Cossman and his team couldn't save their cameras when the toxic gases and boiling lava proved too much for the drones.
In April, a chimp at the Royal Burgers' Zoo in the Netherlands proved that primates are still the original masters of the tool-and-opposable-thumbs game when it used a large stick to swat a drone out of the air. According to a report from the Verge, verified by a zookeeper, the entire clan attacked the downed drone and smashed it to smithereens to ensure it would never fly again. Only the GoPro attached lived to tell the tale.
Drones have also repeatedly come under air attack. In one example, operator Christopher Schmidt was flying his drone in Cambridge, Massachusetts, when, in his words, "a hawk decided he wasn't too happy with my invasion of his airspace…" The juvenile red-tailed hawk clawed the machine out of the sky. Luckily, all parties involved came out unscathed, and in an admirable display of sportsmanship, Schmidt decided to donate all proceeds from his YouTube upload views to the Massachusetts Audubon Society to promote protection of land and wildlife.
While animals and hot magma destroy drones that invade their homes, drones' most dangerous predator may be man, as evidenced by the latest anti-drone action at San Diego's Pacific Beach pier. With a drone buzzing overhead, we see a fisherman turn around, cast his reel, and catch the drone. The following footage of the drone struggling on the line like an angry trout is pretty entertaining. Drone operator Tice Ledbetter had to untangle the fishing line from one of the quadcopter's rotors, about half a mile away from the pier, and later gave the fisherman props for his target casting. But at the end of the footage, Ledbetter zooms in on an image of the fisherman with the words, "Wanted for being an asshole" on the screen.
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