Toy plane confuses American children with Islamic prayer noises.

Toy Plane Makes Islamic Prayer Noises Rather Than Beep-Boop Sounds, Confuses Kids at Christmas

Toy Plane Makes Islamic Prayer Noises Rather Than Beep-Boop Sounds, Confuses Kids at Christmas

The Slatest
Your News Companion
Dec. 30 2015 2:49 PM

Toy Plane Makes Islamic Prayer Noises Rather Than Beep-Boop Sounds, Confuses Kids at Christmas

toyplane_12302015
Excuse me, what did you just say?

King 5 News

Stick batteries into this toy plane, and it does what a normal toy plane might do—rolls around and lights up. But then it also does something else—emits what appears to be an Islamic prayer. “We’re kind of confused on how this would happen,” a Washington state man who bought it as a Christmas present for his 3-year-old nephew told King 5 News on Monday. “It’s just kind of not the right situation to have that on a children’s toy.”

Confused is right! And he’s not the only one: Now, Reddit and the rest of the Internet are demanding an explanation for the plastic F-16 that chants Arabic. On Reddit, some users are saying that this is a common occurrence in toy shops across Saudi Arabia. The toy company WolVol, meanwhile, is blaming its manufacturer.

What we do know is that this toy plane is not supposed to do this. In a video posted by a reviewer on Amazon.com in July 2014, the plane is shown making its normal screechy, beepy, nails-on-a-chalkboard noise. Yet several reviewers later, people begin to warn would-be purchasers that they too received planes that chanted unexpectedly in foreign tongues. Nadeem Israr, president of the Islamic Society of Whatcom County, told King 5 News that it is a chant sung by Muslims during Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca.

One reviewer on Amazon described the noise as “extremely bizarre for a children’s toy.” Why yes, the sound of prayer in another language is totally bizarre, especially if you were expecting something comforting like a “jet rumble or bombing noise.”

Merry Christmas!

Rachel E. Gross is the science web editor at Smithsonian.