Imagine seeing a black speck high in the air that starts hurtling towards the ground, but finding this when it crashed:View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

An unusual looking drone resembling a bird that crashed in Mogadishu’s Waabari district yesterday. Cc @MahamudBille

Local reports connect the metal bird drone to NISA, the Somalia intelligence agency. Beyond that, there’s not much information available yet about this uncannily avian object. The U.S. military does reportedly have a secret drone base in Somalia, but the drones launched from there are much larger.

Drone companies have been working for years on drones that could blend in with birds. The Robird was designed to look and fly like a real bird of prey, and another robot bird was modeled after a seagull. Yet another drone can perch like a bird. There have also been drones that look like hummingbirds, and one that looked like an eagle.

None of those, though, had the simple metal aesthetic of this drone, which has propellers on its wings.

Beyond bird-drones, DARPA has funded drones that look like flies, millipedes, and mosquitoes. To really freak someone out, the Grim Reaper drone is a good option. Not subtle enough for spy work, though.

atlasobscura

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