Britney Spears is one of the most popular and successful pop acts of the last decade, but it turns out that her music has more uses than just soundtracking the next teenage birthday party.

Apparently, Brit's music is being utilised in the fight against piracy on the high seas of Africa, with hits like 'Baby One More Time' and 'Oops! I Did It Again' proving particularly helpful in the fight against the gun-wielding bandits.

The unlikely secret weapon is being used to great effect by Captains navigating the waters around the horn of Africa, who have found that the Somalians are so repulsed by her music that they change course and run away as soon as they hear the first notes of the hugely popular Western pop staples. Speaking with UK newspaper The Mirror, merchant navy officer Rachel Owens says that both merchant ships and ships used to combat the pirate threat have both found that Britney's music can be used to great effect against potential ship breaches.

“Her songs have been chosen by the security team accompanying our tankers because they thought the pirates would hate them most," she told the paper. “These guys can’t stand Western culture or music, making Britney’s hits perfect.”

Piracy has been a continuing threat for sailors navigating Africa's east coast, with the threat of piracy showing little sign of improving any time soon. That is until the power of Britney was discovered. Piracy is such a threat that the British Royal Navy currently has 1,500 sailors on 14 warships sailing through the dangerous waters on round-the-clock patrols, with some scenarios sometimes resorting to violence.

The violence, however, is becoming to wear away as Britney's hits are proving to be much more effective than actual confrontation.

“There are a lot of lives and cargo at stake so security is of prime importance," Owens continued. “The speakers can be aimed solely at the pirates so as not to disturb the crew. They’re so effective the ship’s security rarely needs to resort to firing guns - as soon as the pirates get a blast of Britney they move on as quickly as they can.”

Britney Spears
Britney Spears: scourge of pirates everywhere