The year was 2016 and a tragedy occurred: 48 people on board a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane were killed when it crashed in the north of the country. Well, the airline had a very strange way to ensure that kind of problem doesn’t happen again: they sacrificed a goat. A black goat, to be more precise. Next to an aircraft which was about to leave for a domestic flight.
In Pakistan, as well as in other Muslim countries, sacrificing a black goat is supposed to ward off bad luck – but seriously, what year is it? Most people thought the image was a photoshop but when it turned out it was real, outrage was sparked.
In what was likely the first airline statement about a goat killing, PIA spokesperson Danyal Gillani said that the animal sacrifice wasn’t their idea. Airline employees did it spontaneously, and it wasn’t the management’s order.
“It was done by some local employees as a gesture of gratitude over the clearance of the first ATR [for flying].” Animal sacrifice is a part of Islamic tradition and can be found in other religions as well (see Leviticus 23:19).
Hopefully, this isn’t the only thing PIA did to ensure more accidents don’t happen – and hopefully, no more barbaric sacrifices will be needed.
Enjoyed this article? Join 40,000+ subscribers to the ZME Science newsletter. Subscribe now!