Gerbils have a keen sense of smell. They can find their food, even if it’s buried under five inches of bedding.
But did you know that gerbils can literally smell fear? British Security Serivce MI5 once planned to recruit a team of specially-trained gerbils as a secret weapon to sniff out spies, it has been revealed.
The animals were to help interrogate suspects because they could use their acute sense of smell to detect a rise in adrenalin – the chemical released in sweat when people feel under stress.
But MI5 dropped the plans after it was discovered the gerbils could not tell the difference between terrorists and passengers who were scared of flying.
The Canadians had another idea about how to use these rodents; the Royal Mounted Police have trained gerbils to sniff out drugs.