Despite growing concerns surrounding the vulnerability of America's power grid to cyber attacks, it appears that a more mundane threat has been quietly wreaking havoc on the system for years: squirrels.
The website Cyber Squirrel 1 has been tracking incidents of power outages caused by squirrels and other animals around the world since 1987 and the numbers are staggering.
An incredible 623 power outages have been due to the rambunctious rodents over that period of time with an amazing 137 squirrel-induced blackouts in 2015 alone.
Even more worrisome is that the website suggests that this past year's count may be even lower than the real tally, since it relies on newspaper articles to track the outages.
Aside from squirrels, other natural threats to the power grid include birds, raccoons, snakes, and, somehow, slugs.
But squirrels remain at the top of the danger depth chart due to their large population, intelligence, and maneuverability.
In light of last month's story about squirrel attacks in California, one can only hope that a coordinated effort from the rogue rodents is not looming on the horizon.
Source: The Washington Post