In one of the craziest-but-true stories so far this year, a monkey is to blame for shutting down the entire electrical grid in the African nation of Kenya.
All the monkey had to do to shut off service to 44 million people was to fall off a roof and onto a transformer and trip it, sparking a chain reaction, the Kenya Electricity Generating Company acknowledged.
“This caused other machines at the power station to trip on overload, resulting in a loss of more than 180 MW (megawatts) from this plant which triggered a national power blackout,” a statement posted on the company’s Facebook page stated.
What’s truly extraordinary is that the monkey was not even hurt, NPR reported. The monkey was able to easily penetrate the Gitaru Power Station’s defenses, which include electric fences designed to keep wild animals away.
Power outages caused by animals are actually very common, although it’s rare for one to black out a nation.
The Cybersquirrel1 website reported that squirrels alone were responsible for 743 power outages around the world as of June 6. Birds were responsible for 321 outages, raccoons and snakes for 61 outages each and rats for 32 outages.
The most recent animal-caused outage in the US was in Pulaski County, Virginia, on June 3. Appalachian Power reported that a snake knocked out power to 2,700 customers around Christiansburg by coming into contact with electrical equipment.
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