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Craziest Real-Life Spy Gadgets and How They're Used

A lot of people have a "Plan B" or a second job when their main source of income isn't meeting a family's needs or is just plain boring. Many have taken to earning extra money at home by taking paid surveys for extra cash instead of spending time away from loved ones, making additional income in their spare time.

However, a profession that's hardly anyone's backup plan is that of a spy - one of the more dangerous, high-stakes jobs in existence, operating undercover requires a lot of research and gadgets to work effectively. Spies have been romanticized in popular culture. They spurred a number of successful movies and TV series, and even a major commercial museum in Washington, D.C. Here are some of the most impressive gadgets that have inspired these pop culture works!

The pigeon camera
This is one of the best examples of using the world around a spy to blend in and keep track of a given area without being physically present. The American Central Intelligence Agency strapped hi-tech cameras to pigeons in cities of interest and watched as the birds flew higher than it was possible for humans to do undetected. This provided them information on the layout of a city and footage that could lead to the capture of a criminal. According to spy blog Top Secret Writers, the pigeon camera was only in practice for a short time, but the CIA certainly gets points for creativity.

The tiger poop seisometer
​During the Vietnam War, the Americans looked for any potential advantage they could leverage over the enemy. At times, this need for a leg up was taken to farcical heights - in order to keep track of enemy locations, intelligence professionals installed a seisometer into a fake pile of tiger droppings. If Vietnam soldiers walked anywhere near the device, the poop would send data to the Americans. It was thought to be the last place the other side would bother to look, and ended up helping the homefront.

The bugged U.S. Embassy Seal
This gadget is one of the most famous examples of spying between the Americans and Russians during the Cold War. Russian schoolchildren presented Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. with a wall-mounted wooden carving of the United States seal in 1946, where it hung for six years before it was discovered that there were small bugged microphones hidden within the device. According to SpyBusters, this served as hard evidence that the country's enemy in the nonviolent rivalry had been spying on them, and led to a lengthy lawsuit.

There you have it - some amazing spy gadgets for those brave enough to use them. For everyone else, you can fill out surveys for money to make a little extra cash and fund a night out or an evening in with James Bond classics like "The Spy Who Loved Me" or "Casino Royale." Even better, some of these weird gadgets are available for purchase! 

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