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The Growth Of Toxins Featuring Jellyfish

1397 words - 6 pages

The plague of the oceans has come back from the dead and is not showing mercy. With all the pollution being brought on by human life, water is being contaminated which is causing some substances to rise in population and is sickening al who come in contact with the poisonous substance. Imagine just doing your job when you come in contact with the poisonous elements also known as Lyngbya majuscula, or fireweed. Your skin breaks out in blisters and welts and no matter how much you try it doesn’t stop neither does the burning sensation that comes with it. You go to shake this off your fishing nets only to have trouble breathing as the substance fills the air making your throat close. Well this is what is happening to the fishermen of Morenton Bay, Australia. And to make it worse, fireweed can spread enough to fill an entire football field in an hour. Making it fast and deadly. Not only is it hurting humans, but causing some species in the ocean to fight for their lives. More advanced species such as fish, coral, and marine mammals are slowly dying while more primitive species such as jellyfishes, algae and bacteria are growing at unprecedented rates that are baffling scientists. Such patterns where found hundreds of millions of years ago. It’s as if the pattern of evolution is reversing and it’s not looking so good for the more advanced species. When a sample got to scientist Judith O’Neil she figured out that the element was a strand of cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria is a modern day ancestor of bacteria and algae that flourished 2.7 billion years ago (Weiss). An accumulation of environmental pressures have made to oceans more hospitable to primitive organisms and has altered the basic chemistry of the ocean. Industries are overdosing the ocean with basic nutrients such as nitrogen, carbon, iron and other phosphorous compounds that curl from out of smokestacks and tailpipes, wash into the sea from fertilized land and seep out from septic tanks and sewer pipes. Millions of tons of carbon dioxide and nitrogen produced by burning fossil fuels enter the ocean each day. Not only is this bad for our environment, but it speeds up the growth of harmful bacteria and algae. Also the destruction of wetlands and overfishing have played a big role in letting this substance get out of hand. With overfishing and the destruction of wetlands competing organisms that usually keep the element from getting out of hand, are dying. And with less and less organisms to keep it in check the growth only becomes faster. The effects of this are not only found in Morenton Bay, Australia, but worldwide. During Swedish summers strands of the crynobacteria wash up on shore as a yellow-ish substance. Dead fish pop out along the coast and if the locals get near it, their eyes burn and they can’t breathe. On the southern coast of Mauii in Hawaii the high tide brings in green algae so foul smelling that condominium owners hired tractor drivers to scrape it off the beach each morning...

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