The Loh Down On Science

Sea Monkey Death

A fast new way to get rid of unwanted passengers on boats: Nuke 'em.

Fed up with sea monkeys? Nuke 'em!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with The Loh Down on Science

and on a fast new way to get rid of unwanted visitors.

International cargo ships rely on ballast water for stabilization.

Each year, around ten billion gallons is taken on at one port, dumped at another.

The problem? Hitchhikers--marine life such as microalgae, zebra mussels and brine shrimp--also known as sea monkeys. When these and other non-native species are let out of the tank, they can flourish and wreak havoc on the local eco-culture.

How to deal with these invasive new neighbors? Zap 'em before they disembark.

That's right, says a team from Louisiana State University's Agricultural Center. Heating the water to around fifty-five degrees Celsius with microwaves can nuke unwanted sea life right out of the water.

The technology is effective even on extremely cold or brackish water. And the researchers say the environmental rewards of literally microwaving this sea water would be well worth the cost.

Not to mention, sailors report, making for a very very memorable cup of tea. One that stays with ya! Argh!


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