If you have ever heard of some weird weaponry and you thought for what it is used, then this weapon will make you think again. When I first heard of it, I was like: who has ever thought of such an idea?!
Skunk is an Israeli-made weapon that is made from non-toxic materials. If you don’t know what a skunk is, it is an animal that is very famous for one thing, bad smell!
Skunks are known for their ability to spray a liquid from their anal glands with a strong, unpleasant odor. And skunk (the weapon) shares the same features with skunk (the animal), spraying a bad-smelling liquid, but of course, from a different spraying source!
What is the skunk weapon? What are the ingredients of the skunk? How is this weapon used, and where? How is this weapon countered (cleaned)? And finally, is this weapon effective?
What is the Skunk Weapon?
Some weapons are very lethal, destructive, and precise. And there are some that are simply stinky. Israeli skunk is an extremely powerful crowd control weapon, even if it doesn’t cause any harm to the people.
It is a non-lethal weapon employed by the Israeli Defense Forces to manage large crowds and protests. It is also sold to military and law enforcement organizations across the world.
Odortec designed and manufactured it with the help of Man and Beit-Alfa Technologies, two other firms. The liquid is considered a better solution over other crowd control weapons, such as rubber bullets and tear gas.
Skunk’s smell is difficult to describe, but it is strong and difficult to wash away. Skunk’s odor will remain in the fabric of your clothing for up to five years if it gets on it.
Even your body will suffer from it. The smell stays on your body for days, no matter how many times you shower. It’s enough for the people to know that skunk will be used against the protest, and they will leave right away.
They have to go next day to school or to work, or even stay in their house with their family. And this will be a very bad situation for them. Of course, a special soap is sold to police officers in case they get splashed by the skunk accidentally.
What are the ingredients of the skunk?
Skunk is a commercial product, and its ingredients are kept secret, but we do know that the base components of skunk are yeast, baking powder and some other non-toxic ingredients.
Skunk is carried in vehicles and sprayed using water cannon on the protesters. Even though it is said to be an organic and non-toxic blend, the skunk could be harmful and have side effects.
In December 2017, Haaretz reported that skunks could cause physical harm, such as intense nausea, vomiting and skin rashes. Examinations by police and army medical teams in the past also indicated that the excessive coughing caused by exposure to skunk could result in suffocation (unable to breathe).
As we said before, it is usually used during protests. It was used against Palestinian protesters who called the skunk vehicle as “the shitter,” describing the smell it produces.
One of the BBC reporters who was there during the protests describes the skunk weapon and says:
“Imagine the worst, most foul thing you have ever smelled. An overpowering mix of rotting meat, old socks that haven’t been washed for weeks – topped off with the pungent waft of an open sewer. Imagine being covered in the stuff as it is liberally sprayed from a water cannon. Then imagine not being able to get rid of the stench for at least three days, no matter how often you try to scrub yourself clean.”
Is it an Effective Weapon?
As we stated before, the company sells soap for the police to use it in case they accidentally get sprayed by skunk. This soap will neutralize the smell of the skunk within a few minutes.
On the other hand, protesters have been known to counter the smell of the skunk using ketchup! Yes, they use ketchup to wash off and diminish the smell.
Skunk was tested in the US and was very effective. However, in India, it was worthless. Testers were able to tolerate the smell, and some even drank the liquid without any issues.
It seems like skunk effectiveness is variable. It could be just effective for some people, and for others, it might be dangerous, causing people to suffocate. On the other hand, it might be completely useless for some people and have no effect.
In the end, skunk is also getting criticized in Israel for its wide-ranging impact. It has an impact on the entire street where it is being used. As a result, the smell affects businesses and the general public alike, regardless of their political opinion.