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Italy’s eels have a cocaine problem

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There are lots of scary-looking things in the sea: sharks, giant squids, jellyfish. But the thing we really should be scared of most is the growing trash pile swirling in our oceans. There are 5 trillion pieces of trash floating out there, and it’s ending up in the stomachs of many sea animals.

The consequences of our excess don’t stop there. On top of physical particles in the ocean and in our rivers, chemical fluids are getting into the water as well. So a team of Italian scientists conducted experiments exposing a regional fish, the European eel, to a very particular recreational drug — cocaine. What they found could be the early signs of what a chemically imbalanced water system may look like.