Sweden’s Peace and Arbitration Society (SPAS) is deploying one of the most original anti-submarine measures in the history of naval warfare: a subsurface neon sign that taunts Russian subs in Morse code.
Dubbed the “Singing Sailor,” the device inhabits the waters off Stockholm and is cast in the shape of a man wearing white underpants and a sailor hat, whose hips move in time with the flashing pink hearts behind him. It’s emblazoned with the words “Welcome to Sweden. Gay since 1944,” in Russian and English, and it broadcasts the phrase “This way if you are gay” in Morse code.
That’s a lot to take in. We’ll give you a minute. Here’s a schematic to help.
SPAS says the point of the Singing Sailor is to “urge the Swedish government to think in new ways instead of falling back on territorial defense, conscription and rearmament.” A fairly obvious jab at Russia’s anti-homosexuality laws, the sign is also being used to invite any passing subs (and their personnel) to Stockholm’s Pride parade in August, per SPAS.
On a more serious note, in October, Sweden launched a massive military operation to search its waters for what it believed to be a damaged Russian submarine. TIME says it could have been “the gravest violation of Sweden’s maritime sovereignty since the Cold War.”