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Suppose that humans blame the occurrence of mega-tsunamis and flash floods that taking nearly a million lives annually on the terrifying mermaids living in the Mariana Trench. The Secretary-General of the UN decided to use force against this intelligent species and many nations are involved in a campaign against their terrorism.

Since bullets proved useless against the mermaid in their habitat the military deploys powerful laser weapons instead. What kind of energy-based weapon is suitable at such depth? To give you an idea what we are up against the mermaid actually is in possession of a super weapon nicknamed "Rolling in the deep" which is responsible for powering the tsunamis and floods.

The mermaids can hide inside the hydrothermal vents for hours naked and their primary weapon of choice is a punch that is the equivalent of a mantis shrimp snapping and scaled up accordingly!

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    $\begingroup$ Weapon nicknamed "rolling in the deep" :D $\endgroup$ – Helmar Oct 30 '16 at 11:07
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    $\begingroup$ This is an Italian Job (rather than dumping barrels in the Tyrrhenian Sea, let the Mafia dispose their nuclear waste legally over the Mariana Trench). Let them punch that. $\endgroup$ – Damon Oct 30 '16 at 16:30
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Trying to use directed energy weapons under miles of seawater won't work. The water will absorb them, boil, and be replenished from the vast supply of surrounding water.

Nuclear depth charges, which already exist, are a much easier and more practical solution. They'll need stronger casings for the extreme depths in question, but that's known technology. They'll kill by shock waves at significant ranges underwater.

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    $\begingroup$ Wouldn't the fallout be very dangerous for the other species in the ocean? $\endgroup$ – Stan Wiechers Oct 30 '16 at 13:01
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    $\begingroup$ @StanWiechers - The sea is very very very very large compared to the size of a nuclear bomb. Within a few years, the radiation in the vicinity would be indistinguishable from background, and within days, the water at the site would be perfectly safe for wildlife. $\endgroup$ – Richard Oct 30 '16 at 13:29
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    $\begingroup$ @StanWiechers Even areas like Chenobyl are now safe for wildlife and the ocean will disperse the radiation much quicker than it would on land. The ocean would be safe very quickly. $\endgroup$ – Bellerophon Oct 30 '16 at 13:42
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    $\begingroup$ @StanWiechers Agreeing with previous speakers, I'd like to add that if mermaids are killing a million people annually, humans are very likely not to care about starfish. $\endgroup$ – Borsunho Oct 30 '16 at 17:29
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    $\begingroup$ You also don't necessarily need nukes, conventional explosives could still work as depth charges and are quite powerful $\endgroup$ – fyrepenguin Oct 30 '16 at 18:18
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Negotiate with them on the terms of mutually assured destruction.

The energy released by the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami was 9600 gigatons, and only killed around a quarter of a million people, meaning the mermaids' superweapon is even more powerful, despite knowledge of attacks and humans putting up defences against it.

In comparison, the sum total of all the nuclear weapons in the world is 7 gigatons.

The mermaid civilization has pretty much 3 orders of magnitude more energy in each firing of their superweapons than the humans'. Since the mermaids are living in a trench, it would be possible to simply use nuclear depth charges as per John Dallman's answer, but there is no reason to attack each other when both civilizations have superweapons capable of destroying each other effectively.

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I'm assuming that you're looking for a way to make man to mermaid combat happen? If so, then powerful lazer weapons sounds like over engineering a simple problem. Although normal guns may be useless, how about needle guns? They work just fine underwater: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underwater_firearm

The simple fact that the mermaids need to get close an punch their enemies gives them a massive disadvantage when facing off against an enemy/army armed with rapid fire projectile weapons (think of the colonial wars where small colonizing troops massacred entire tribes https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genocide_of_indigenous_peoples)

But the fact that they possess a massive weapon capable of creating tsunamis etc. would suggest they are technologically advanced and therefore also in possession of more advanced combat weapons, regardless of how deadly their melee fighting is.

If the UN just wants to lay waste to the entire area John Dallmans' answer would clearly be the best solution

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If the mermaids have such technology to cause tsunamis... well, then we are all pretty much already dead and their defenses are probably as advanced as their weapons are, so we have no way to attack them.

Humanity has 2 options in this case:

  1. surrender
  2. become an ally of the mermaids
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