The world’s crustaceans are on drugs. Excreted antidepressants which have entered the oceans via the sewage system are affecting the behavior of certain crustacean populations, shrimp, in particular.
British researchers have determined that shrimp exposed to fluoxetine (aka Prozac) are five times more likely to swim toward the light rather than away from it. This sparks several questions that bear consideration.
Who pays for these scientists to test the effect of drugs on our planet’s lower life forms? If my taxpayer dollars are paying to get insects, arachnids, and crustaceans high, I want to know about it!
Remember Sea Monkeys? The advertisements were a wee bit deceptive, to say the least. Who wasn’t disappointed when their Sea Monkeys turned out to be brine shrimp and not tiny creatures with familial bonds and bows in their hair? Now it looks like the Sea Monkey world needs a series of PSAs about the dangers of marinating in drug-filled waters.
One of the scariest movies ever made was “Poltergeist,” with Craig T. Shelton and that weird little psychic medium lady with the helium voice. Nowadays ghost whisperers have to be “hot,” like Jennifer Love Hewitt. Back when clowns were scary, not so much. Hey, if I were a shrimp (or other sea creature), with gargantuan oil spills looming, I think I’d be swimming toward the light just as quick as my little arms (do shrimp have arms?) would carry me.
Maybe it’s not the antidepressants. Maybe the shrimp are just smarter than we are.
For more (scientific-type) information: Science Daily
Photo Credit: via Science Daily. Dr. Alex Ford with live shrimp specimens. (Image courtesy of University of Portsmouth), Sea Monkey ad via spacepotato@Flickr, Poltergeist on Blu-Ray via Film.com