Kink Like A Fish: Antidepressants Dumped In Water Cause Fish To Go Horny


antidepressants
Photo by The Economist

There are plenty of fish in the sea, and in any body of water for that matter. However, they are about to become a lot more abundant after scientists have made a recent discovery about the rivers and lakes of the world. It turns out, certain antidepressants have made their way into the brains of fish-kind which turns them horny and puts the “wild” in wildlife.

Researchers from Monash University have recently found out that Prozac, which is an antidepressant medicine, is making fishes more reproductive. They did some tests first to replicate the scenario of Prozac making its way into underwater habitats. The scientists introduced Prozac into a tank filled with fishes and those spent more time chasing their female counterparts compared to fishes that were not exposed to Prozac.

Hence, fish exposed to antidepressants have exhibited “more frequent copulatory behavior.” It was not the Prozac or antidepressant per se, but rather a chemical ingredient that they have which is called fluoxetine that makes the fish a lot more proactive in sex. This may not be surprising, however, since Prozac does have some significant effects on human beings, though its effect is notably different on marine animals.

“Fluoxetine can cause a wide range of adverse effects in aquatic species, including disrupting development and reproduction and altering morphological and physiological traits,” according to scientist Michael Bertram. So how did the fluoxetine in Prozac end up in fish habitats like rivers and lakes? Apparently, fluoxetine cannot be filtered by water systems.

It also appears that antidepressants are not the only drug which is polluting wildlife, even something as illegal as cocaine is making its way into marine wildlife habitats. If that is the case, something indeed smells fishy in our waters due to destructive human activity.

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Natividad Sidlangan
Sid was born, did some stuff, then decided to become a writer. He is now on a quest to farm some accolades and life experiences so that he can boast about them in his online 'about yourself' page. So far, the only thing he was able to boast about is a handlebar mustache.

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