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A stun grenade, also known as a flash grenade or flashbang, is a non-lethal explosive device used to temporarily disorient an enemy's senses. It is designed to produce a blinding flash of light and loud noise without causing permanent injury. It was first developed by the British Army's SAS in the 1960s. The flash produced momentarily activates all photoreceptor cells in the eye, making vision impossible for approximately five seconds, until the eye restores itself to its normal, unstimulated state. The loud blast causes temporary loss of hearing, and also disturbs the fluid in the ear, causing loss of balance. The concussive blast of the detonation can still injure, and the heat created can ignite flammable materials such as fuel. The fires that occurred during the Iranian Embassy Siege in London were caused by stun grenades. (via Freebase)