Sailors have figured out a unique strategy for keeping Somali pirates at bay: blast Britney Spears songs.
Merchant navy officer Rachel Owens told Metro.co.uk that cranking up the volume on the pop star’s hits helps discourage pirates from boarding and kidnapping crew members—a constant problem for ships cruising off the east coast of Africa.
According to the New York Times, a whopping 3,863 seafarers were attacked by Somali pirates in 2011—though that number dropped to 851 in 2012. One such attack, the famous story of the Maersk Alabama and Capt. Richard Phillips‘s kidnapping in 2009, was recently depicted on the big screen in Captain Phillips starring Tom Hanks.
But now sailors are equipped with a musical weapon against the pirates. “[Spears's] songs were chosen by the security team because they thought the pirates would hate them most,” Owens, a second officer, said. “These guys can’t stand Western culture or music, making Britney’s hits perfect.”