Think punt guns were overpowered for bird hunting? Check out this cannon that nearly turned a seagull into a bloody mist after it passed by during a ceremonial firing.
Every day—except for Sunday—at precisely 1 p.m., the guard at Scotland’s Edinburgh Castle fires a 105mm L118 light gun to mark the time. The tradition stretches back to 1861 when the cannon was originally used to signal the time to ships in nearby harbors, but have since become a purely ceremonial event. Of course, the original cannon was a 18-pound muzzle-loading version that took four men to load. That cannon was eventually replaced by a 32-pound breech-loader that was at one point used in combat when a German Zeppelin flew overhead during an air raid in World War I.
The current cannon has never been fired in defense, although if it actually fired real ammunition, this unlucky seagull would have been its first casualty in the twenty-first century.