Listen, the world is dark and full of unexpected environmental terrors. Climate change is real, coral is being destroyed at a rate so alarming that I now care about coral, and if it weren’t for these polyamorous birds living their best lives, I sometimes feel like I might lose it in the middle of the supermarket. And don’t even get me started on the people out there who think that the world is flat and that the earth isn’t getting dangerously warmer because the eastern states “sure do get a lot of snow.”
Now we’ve got to bring shrimp snorting (read: being polluted with) cocaine into the equation of why our planet is on a really messed up trajectory towards Hadestown (like actual hell and not the hit Broadway musical*).
“Wait,” you say, “let’s get back to that shrimp snorting premium drugs thing.”
Well, okay, but you asked.
The story is this: Researchers at King’s College in London and The University of Suffolk wanted to see what chemicals they’d find floating through the rivers in the region. And while they should be commended for sticking to the bodies of waters they’re used to (don’t go chasing those waterfalls, science friends), what they found was that freshwater shrimp, for some reason, were chock full of cocaine.
What’s even more distressing than finding out that shellfish — who should just be living a cool, calm existence before being devoured in a “nature is horrible and beautiful” way — were “carrying,” is the fact that it’s likely they have full trench coats of the stuff on them. The shrimp also tested positive for ketamine among other illicit substances (which include pesticides that have long been banned).
While scientists weren’t looking to narc on the freshwater dwellers — they were researching how wildlife responded to micropollutants — the new findings are worrying. Though environmental scientists are mainly focused on the preponderance of microplastics in the water (because fish ingest that and then so do humans), this new finding suggests that we need to do an even better job of keeping our waterways clean. If not for us, then at least for the poor shrimp that likely have no idea why they want to rock and roll all night and party every day.**
*Can you get us tickets, though?
**Scientists say the shrimp are not in too much danger right now (phew!) but this is a warning bell!!
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