You’re looking at a mosquito who got taken down mid-flight by a Death Star laser gun designed by Nathan Myhrvold. The malaria-carrying pest never saw it coming, but you can watch everything happen over and over again in this video.

The idea behind the “Death Star” laser is that it could be used to control mosquito populations in developing countries in hopes of reducing the number of deaths due to malaria, a disease frequently carried by the flying insects. The device was shown off during the TED 2010 conference and does in fact appear to be capable of tracking and killing mosquitoes. Oh, and it was built out of parts found on eBay.

OK, I want one.




  1. FRAGaLOT says:

    wow smoked them.. literally! This guy will get hired up PDQ by military to create anti missile laser arrays or something like that. Maybe make Regan’s Star Wars real?

  2. Gary, the dangerous infidel says:

    PETA is going to be all over this. As a matter of fact, the PETA representatives will be swarming much like mosquitoes, so I hope that laser is still powered up 😉

  3. Jess Hurchist (who is sorry for the frivolity) says:

    There’s an awful lot of mosquitoes, can something like this really make a difference except to the room it’s in?

  4. RTaylor says:

    I want several with a rotating mirror systems to keep blasting the whole yard. I hate the little sons of bitches. They cover me, while other people are unaffected. The bastards made it personal.

  5. Personality says:

    Fry her blood sucking ass!

  6. Improbus says:

    Just add Pink Floyd and some magic mushrooms to the light show and you have the perfect summer evening.

  7. tomyerex says:

    Wonder what would happen if the laser confused a mosquito with someone blinking.

  8. David says:

    This is a great idea. The mosquito flies anywhere near your eye, and boom, permanent vision loss. Why bother with something as simple as mosquito repellant.

  9. deathfrombelow says:

    Mayday! Mayday, I’m doing down! Tell my maggots
    I love them.

    Wish I was a WWII British mosquito.

  10. RSweeney says:

    whoa… seldom have I seen such a life changing technology.

    We have Asian Tiger mosquitoes here, they are nasty 24/7 bugs that swarm in the day as well as the night.

    Taking back my yard would be a good thing.

  11. denacron says:

    It worked so well on a mosquito that Green Peace decided to try it on Japanese sailors.

  12. MikeN says:

    Isn’t DDT cheaper?

  13. amodedoma says:

    I already have plans to make one of these, a couple of fast servos, a high resolution digital camera with super fast capture and processing, and an over amped bluray laser. The hard part is the super fast capture and processing. This would be a very dangerous experiment. Stray shots to the eyes would cause retinal damage, and if it were to malfunction and accidentally keep the beam trained on something flammable, well, you get the idea. Still as soon as I got the stray parts I’ll probably give it a try.

  14. Heinrich Moltke says:

    That’s a boatload of awesome.

  15. Improbus says:

    @amodedoma

    You don’t need an over amped blue-ray laser. Mosquitoes are very fragile. I am betting you can fry the wings off a mosquito with an eye safe laser. It seems to me the hard part would be the tracking.

  16. The Monster's Lawyer says:

    “I love the smell of burnt skeeters in the morning.” ~ Kilgore

  17. sargasso says:

    There are no technical details on their web site. They seem to use expensive cameras in a confinement space to sense the mosquito. I would have used a simple low power laser scanner to “highlight” airborne objects and then instantly switch a larger laser to vaporize it. Mosquitoes and flies have a simple reflection profile, so a simple single low resolution PC camera would have been sufficient. And it could be deployed outdoors.

  18. JScott says:

    What a great test pilot that mosquito is. Really took one for the team. He makes you believe in America!

  19. ECA says:

    I know a couple DAIRY farms that would LOVE THIS, if it works on all flying insects..

  20. Buzz says:

    This is going to RUIN Bill Gates’ next “practical demonstration.”


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