The Top 10 Weirdest Animal-Caused Power Outages

The Friendly Racoon

It was an early morning at Seattle City Light when a Racoons decided to drop by and say hi and take a look around. Consequently, getting into something caused the outage. Luckily, the power was back on as soon as 8:00 am.

The Hard Working Beaver

In 2018, a hard at work beaver cut down a tree in Knott County. When the tree came down it caused an outage for over 1,000 customers of Kentucky power. Unfortunately, there’s not much the utility can do to prevent beavers from cutting down trees and living their best life.

The Slithery Snake

A Slithery Florida Resident escaping the rain wandered its way over a transformer tie-breaker at Clay Electric in Jacksonville, Florida. This, unfortunately, caused an arc flash and knocked out a pair of transformers resulting in a blackout for five feeder lines. 5,000 people were left in the dark from this snake-caused outage in 2015.

The Mischievous Squirrel Attacks

It may be a typical occurrence for squirrels to cause some outages but these squirrel attacks are often underestimated. In 2016 alone, Duke Energy connected around 1,000 of its interruptions to be caused by mischievous squirrels. Suck “squirrel attacks” are so common that the American Public Power Association tracks it on the grid with a “Squirrel Index”.

The Bull Named Ron

Ron the bull got himself into some trouble when he chose a power pole in South Lanarkshire, Scotland as his back scratcher. Although the power pole might have helped with the itch it also carried sensitive electric equipment that was shaken off by the bull’s scratching. Luckily for Ron, he was unharmed but unfortunately over 800 homes lost power that day.

The Unlucky Chicken

In 2013, passengers were left stranded at Maui’s Kahului Airport, when a chicken wandered into the transformer. It was a sad day for the chicken who did not survive the encounter and the short flight delays at Maui’s Kahului Airport. After about 30 minutes the power was back and running.

The Snacking Marten

A $7 billion dollars Swiss Large Hadron Collider was deactivated by a cute hungry weasel-like marten. This small animal was able to deactivate one of the most powerful scientific instruments in the world today by having the appetite for a small wire.

The Bird Who Dropped Its Lunch

A bird managed to deactivate a 17-mile long Hadron Collider when it lost its grip on a baguette it was saving for lunch that day. The baguette was found inside sensitive electric gear used to power the Hadron Collider

The Adventurous Jellyfish Clan

An abnormally large clan of moon jellyfish became a little too adventurous when they filled the water intake zone of the Oskarshamn nuclear power plant in Sweden. Unfortunately, this caused the power plant to not receive the cooling water leaving its workers to rush to find a solution and ultimately cutting off around 5% of the entire country’s electricity.

The Clumsy Monkey 

A clumsy vervet monkey caused a lot of problems for Kenya’s power grid when it fell into a transformer at the Gitaru Hydroelectric power station. When the monkey fell it removed a 180 ME generation resource which took out the power for the entire country of Kenya. Luckily the power was back and running within four hours and the clumsy monkey got the proper care.

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Postelwait, Jeff. “StackPath.” Tdworld, T&D World, 27 May 2021, www.tdworld.com/electric-utility-operations/media-gallery/21165503/strangest-animalcaused-power-outages/slideshow?slide=1.

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