Fish the world over are rubbing their fins together and fretting over news of climate change. One day they are told earnestly that the world’s oceans are going to boil over. Then the next they are assured that they (the fish) are all going to turn into popsicles since, baby, it’s cold outside. Can you blame them for being anxious?
No, I mean it. Or, rather, some crazy Canucks mean it. According to The Atlantic Cities’s John Metcalfe a couple of Canadian researchers “doped a bunch of juvenile rockfish with an anxiety-provoking drug, and watched what happened.”
“Dude! Like, I dropped the acid in and he was all uhhnnn. Like he swam around, like, with no aim.”
“That is so cool, dude. We’re going to, like, get a paper or whatever out of this, eh?”
In technical terms, “The medicated fish turned out to be skittish, seeking out and hiding in the dark places in their tank, whereas a group of non-drugged fish circulated widely in both light and dark areas.”
What happened next transformed this mundane high school prank into genius. The “scientists increased the acidity in one tank to match the oceans’ expected pH level by the end of the century.”
“Dude! Like I dropped the acid in—the real acid, not, like, that acid acid, like that pH acid—and, like, he tried to hide!”
“Don’t bother me. I’m going out for more donuts, eh.”
Fish in the acid bath swam more “erratically” say the scientists (watch the fascinating video of the fish swimming back and forth here), who traced paths of the routes fish took. Therefore, there could be no other explanation but that the fish must have been more anxious. Therefore, there is no difference between drugs and pH. Therefore global warming is going to provide a boom in fish therapists.
Science marches on.