In an attempt to stave off piratical attacks, engineers in the UK have designed ships with fricken laser beams attached to their heads.
It may sound like something from a Disney movie, but pirates are a genuine modern day problem. They go out in little skiffs with AK-47s and RPGs (no, not that kind, as amusing as it would be to see someone try to hijack a ship with a copy of Dragon Age), board trade ships, and don't even have the common courtesy to be Johnny Depp or Keira Knightley. Well, the engineers at BAE Systems in Farnborough, UK decided they had had enough of these lazy bums carousing on the high seas without a single parrot, peg-leg, or self-satisfied "ARRRR!" between them.
So they built a laser.
Sure, a non-lethal laser pretty much designed to annoy the pirates away, but a laser all the same. Essentially, the ship-board laser emits a powerful green beam that would be shot at the oncoming pirate skiff from a kilometer and a half away, and would appear to them as if they were looking into a green sun. It's not powerful enough to cause permanent retinal damage, but it's enough to annoy the pirates to the point where it's easier to just find another, easier target.
Of course, the beam could easily be overcome by simply wearing the right color of safety goggles, but I can't imagine those are easy to find in Somalia.
Source: New Scientist