Oh come on, pirates! Her early stuff is perfectly listenable.
Metro reports that Britney Spears' songs "Oops! I Did It Again" and "Baby One More Time" are used to scare away Somali pirates who might otherwise be tempted to attack merchant navy ships off Africa's east coast, according to officer Rachel Owens.
"These guys can’t stand Western culture or music, making Britney’s hits perfect," Owens said.
The music is blasted at extremely high volumes, with the speakers aimed directly at the pirates so the ship's crew doesn't have to deal with the ear-splitting tunes, according to the Mirror.
Owens said Spears' classics are an effective way of fighting pirates. But Steven Jones, of the Security Association for the Maritime Industry, said there are some lengths Western powers are unwilling to go to for fear of violating international law.
"I’d imagine using Justin Bieber would be against the Geneva Convention,” Jones jokingly said.
The Atlantic explains that the pirates are likely scared less by Spears' music in particular and more by the volume at which her sonic stylings are played:
Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) defense systems have been in use for a while. LRADs blast walls of sound which bring people to their knees, and have been used to quell riots and deter pirates in the past.
Also, as the Atlantic reports, LRAD systems on board mean there are likely armed people on the ship too and that's a further deterrent to piracy.
This story comes days after the captain and chief engineer of the "US-flagged C-Retriever oil supply ship" were captured and taken hostage on Wednesday off the coast of Nigeria.
Late last week, the White House warned that pirate attacks were on the rise off Africa's west coast, according to the Guardian.