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Deadliest Catch's Sig Hansen Totally Wigged Out Over This Clever Prank

Although the captains of "Deadliest Catch" are usually fighting for their lives amidst the dangerous and chaotic conditions of the Bering sea, every now and again these veterans of the open ocean will enjoy a few laughs by pulling pranks on each other. A few of the most infamous pranks from throughout the series's 18 years on air include the time that the F/V North American hauled a Port-A-Potty out of the sea (courtesy of Captain Keith Colburn), and the time the crew of the F/V Time Bandit attacked the F/V Northwestern in a mock pirate attack — complete with paintball guns and fireworks.

The most notorious prankster amongst the bunch is undoubtedly Captain Johnathan Hillstrand, who was the mastermind behind the attack on the Northwestern and who once pranked Captain Phil Harris by attaching an entire pickup truck to his buoy line. Although Hillstrand says that the pickup truck prank is by far his favorite ship prank on "Deadliest Catch," he was also the architect of a much more clever prank on Captain Sig Hansen — one which led to Hansen completely losing his cool.

Sig Hansen was pissed at the Chinese lantern prank

During Season 7 of "Deadliest Catch," Johnathan Hillstrand and the crew of the F/V Time Bandit decided to sneak up on Sig Hansen and the F/V Northwestern and send a swarm of flying Chinese lanterns towards them (via YouTube). Hillstrand's complete commitment to this prank is evident when he turns off his navigational system and cuts the lights on his own ship — rendering his own crew essentially blind while they cast the Chinese lanterns out into the sky.

As dangerous as this maneuver is, it allows them to catch the Northwestern completely by surprise, and the episode captures Sig Hansen's utter bewilderment at seeing the flurry of glowing lights drifting towards his boat. "The hell are those lights there?" Hansen says, worrying that he's about to hit another ship or a crashed plane. Hansen curses up a storm as he calls out desperately trying to figure out who or what these lights could be, and the scene becomes even more eerie after somebody on the radio suggests that the objects could be UFOs.

Even after the Time Bandit flashes its lights and calls Hansen on the radio, the captain still sounds extremely unnerved. "You just scared the crap outta me! What the hell, I was pissed!" Hansen said. Although this is an extremely clever and hilarious prank, it's clear the sight of those lanterns did actually cause Hansen a significant amount of distress.