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Simulated tripwire bomb

A tripwire is a passive triggering mechanism. Typically, a wire or cord is attached to some device for detecting or reacting to physical movement.

Such tripwires may be attached to one or more mines — especially fragmentation or bouncing mines — in order to increase the area where triggering may occur.[citation needed]. Trip wires are frequently used in boobytraps -- where either a tug on the wire, or the release of tension on it, will trigger the explosives.

Soldiers sometimes detect the presence of tripwires by spraying the area with Silly String. It will settle to the ground in areas where there are no wires. Where wires are present, the "strings" will rest on the taut wires without triggering the explosive, due to its light weight. It was used by U.S. troops in Iraq for this purpose.[1][2][3]

Another detection method is the use of green line lasers to illuminate and thus expose trip and command wires. The bright laser beam reflects off of the tripwire and can be seen by the user.


  1. ^ Martens, Ellin (2006-11-19). "Not So Silly String In Iraq". Retrieved 2007-10-16.
  2. ^ "A Serious Use For Silly String". CBS News. 2006-12-06. Retrieved 2007-10-16.
  3. ^ "FOX VIDEO: 'Silly String' is saving lives over in Iraq". The Raw Story. Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2007-10-16.