These Frightening Mutated Creatures Living In The Gulf Will Make You Sick

Gulf seafood

Photo: Al Jazeera/YouTube

Two years ago, the BP Horizon Deepwater released five million barrels of crude into the Gulf over three months. BP subsequently released two million gallons of a dispersant called Corexit to break up the oil.Ingredients of dispersants are kept secret under competitive trade laws, but one chemical found in Corexit — 2-butoxyethanol — can cause nausea, diarrhoea, headache, dizziness and lightheadedness as well as damage to liver, kidneys and reproductive system.

Last week, Dahr Jamail of Al Jazeera published a thorough investigative report on the effects of the oil and dispersants on Gulf seafood. One expert told the station that the disturbing number of deformities is unlike anything fisherman or scientists have ever seen. 

In August 2011, scientists tested the bile of various species of fish — which indicates what a fish last ate — and found that it contained on average 125 parts per million of naphthalene, a compound in crude oil.

Among the mutations fisherman are finding: fish lacking eye sockets, fish with lesions, fish without covers over their gills, and fish with large pink masses hanging off their eyes and gills

Dr. Jim Cowan of Louisiana State University's Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences thinks that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from BP's submerged oil is causing the high frequency of lesions

Lobsters are being found with black gills

Shrimp with no eyes, missing shells and large tumors are caught every day in the Gulf

Killifish — a fundamental creature in the Gulf food chain — are developing with lower heart rates, lower hatching success, and hearts that aren't properly formed

Here is a picture of the gills of a normal killifish

The gills of oil-exposed killifish show enlarged tissue (i.e. hyperplasia) and clubbing of branches — both of which can compromise critical functions — as well as molecular signatures that are indicative of exposure to the toxic components of oil (red staining)

Clint Guidry, president of the Lousiana Shrimpers Association, said that white and brown shrimp are down between 50-80% in the last year

Half of all oysters sold in the U.S. used to come from Louisiana's waters but now the supply is down to one-fifth as the Louisiana Oyster harvest was cut in half in 2010 (hitting a 44 year low)

Watch a clip of the Al Jazeera report below:

Like organisms in the Gulf, humans don't always know what we're eating...

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