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When young, European eels (Anguilla anguilla) are known as glass eels.

Uwe Kils/Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

European eels are swimming in cocaine and other illegal drugs

Critically endangered, European eels already have enough problems to deal with, but they now have an even bigger one: cocaine. Reported in National Geographic, people are dumping cocaine, as well as other drugs, into waters all over the world, creating problems for marine life. To understand how these drugs affect European eels, scientists placed them in cocaine-polluted waters for 50 consecutive days and monitored the effects. They discovered that it builds up in various parts of their body, impacts the muscles, and changes their hormones. It also hinders their ability to migrate and reproduce, according to the study, published in Science of the Total Environment. After the study, the eels were removed from the contaminated water, but their problems remained, meaning that cocaine and other drugs can have a lasting effect, harming them forever.

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