In research conducted off the coast of Florida, it has been discovered that sharks exhibit unnatural behavior and experience hallucinations due to cocaine bales dumped into the sea.
According to The Guardian's report, Tracy Fanara and her team of researchers from the Mote Marine Laboratory in Florida investigated the impact of cocaine bales discarded into the ocean by drug smugglers on marine life.
After observing sharks around the islands at the southern tip of Florida for six days, the researchers found the fish displayed unusual behavior. Normally avoiding human contact, Hammerhead sharks were observed swimming toward people after consuming cocaine, while a Sandbar shark experiencing hallucinations circled an imaginary prey.
As part of the study, researchers released bales with fish food instead of cocaine into the water to gauge the sharks' responses, which resulted in the sharks attacking the bales.
Fanara and her team plan to continue their research and take blood samples from the sharks to determine the extent of cocaine consumption.
Meanwhile, a study published in the Nature Journal reveals a 71.1% decline in the shark population in the oceans.
The Greenland shark, with an average lifespan of 272 years but capable of living up to 400 years, is identified as the longest-living vertebrate in a study published in the Science Journal.
The findings of this research shed light on the alarming consequences of cocaine bales being disposed of into the waters off Florida's coast, affecting the behavior of sharks, an essential part of the marine ecosystem. As scientists delve deeper into these discoveries, the urgency to protect marine life and preserve the ecological balance becomes more pressing than ever before, they warn.