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Stefan Siebert

Invading sea pickles could create a North Pacific ‘dead zone’

Millions of bioluminescent, tube-shaped colonies of creatures known as sea pickles (Pyrosoma atlanticum) are filling the waters off the U.S. West Coast all the way up to Alaska, Oregon Public Broadcasting reports. Fishermen have never seen so many of the tropical tunicates, and they’ve even stopped fishing in areas where tens of thousands of them are being caught in nets and hooks. Some scientists are concerned that—if the pyrosomes die en masse—they could create a large “dead zone,” as their decaying bodies suck oxygen from the water.

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