The exterior of tangle mines are made with a bamboo frame and covered with dried animal skin, whilst inside, the mine is filled with skunk fish and seaweed. These mines float in the water and detonate when a ship hits them, during which time the seaweed will tangle around the propeller of the ship, incapacitating it. Meanwhile, the smell from the skunk fish will force warriors to abandon ship. Though they are a very unusual type of mine, they are said to be extremely effective.
- Hakoda called them the stink 'n sink being that they are "destructive, buoyant, and terrible smelling", according to Sokka.
- The tangle mines look somewhat like mines from World Wars I and II, but not as spiky or destructive.
- The mine is actually a combination of two activist anti-whaler techniques. The Sea Shepherds, a famous activist group, use ropes (and recently chains) to tangle illegal fisherman's propellers known as "prop fouling", like Hakoda used seaweed to disable Fire Navy vessels. The Sea Shepherds also use butyric (byü-tir-ik) acid to make the deck of an illegal fishing vessel so awful-smelling that the crew can not stand to work there, much like the stink part works on the Fire Nation ships.