Scientists in the UK have found traces of cocaine, ketamine, and a long-banned pesticide in samples of freshwater shrimp from 15 different sites.
Before you hypothesize that these shrimp are simply microdosing in order to more effectively deal with the stressors of urban life, these are rural shrimp, taken from the sleepy county of Suffolk:
“‘We might expect to see these in urban areas such as London, but not in smaller and more rural catchments,’” said Leon Barron from King’s College London in a press release.”
Scientists found traces of cocaine in all the shrimp tested, and ketamine was widespread as well. Samples also contained traces of fenuron, a pesticide that has been banned in the UK for years, leaving researchers wondering about its source.
While we are rightfully concerned with microplastics and climate change affecting the environment, this study is an indicator that we should probably be worried about chemical pollution as well:
“‘The impact of ‘invisible’ chemical pollution (such as drugs) on wildlife health needs more focus in the UK as policy can often be informed by studies such as these,’” said Nic Bury from the University of Suffolk.”
Recent studies have also found traces of cocaine in London wastewater, while microplastics are commonly found inside fish, sea turtles, insects, and most recently, human stool.
Perhaps, rather than LSD, mushrooms, or ketamine, the near future will see us all taking small nibbles of shrimp in order to stave off panic over the coming end times. Honestly sounds better than Burger King.