No, Iran, Lizard ‘Spies’ Can’t Detect Uranium

The skin of chameleons and other reptiles is made up of the same stuff as human skin: keratin. 
Credit: Shutterstock


A former high-ranking Iranian military leader recently claimed that Israel used lizard spies that “attract atomic waves” in order to identify the location of Iranian uranium mines.

The remarks, by Hassan Firuzabadi, a military advisor to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, were made in response to the recent arrest of local environmentalists, The Times of Israel reported. Though he didn’t discuss the current case, he cited a past instance when suspicious individuals carrying reptiles such as chameleons were apprehended trying to enter the country.

“We found out that their skin attracts atomic waves and that they were nuclear spies who wanted to find out where inside the Islamic Republic of Iran we have uranium mines and where we are engaged in atomic activities,” Firuzabadi told the Iranian Labour News Agency. [Mind-Controlled Cats? 6 Incredible Spy Technologies]

Though “atomic waves” are not a real thing, perhaps Firuzabadi was referring to gamma radiation — the waves with the smallest wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum — that would be emitted from radioactive isotopes during uranium mining.

Regardless, it turns out that the bizarre claim is ridiculous, two reptileexperts told Live Science.

“This is pure and simple BUNK,” Eric Pianka, a zoology professor at the University of Texas at Austin (who sometimes goes by the name The Lizard Man), wrote in an email to Live Science.

Please see more information on Live Science.


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