News Article

News Article

New York City's Tap Water is Crawling with Microscopic Monsters

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If you drink water from the tap in New York City, chances are you're swallowing countless thousands of tiny clawed horrors called copepods.
 
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Photo: ftothe3/New Reddit Journal of Science
 
Now, before you go freaking out on me, you should know that these microscopic creatures – which are crustaceans related to shrimp and plankton – are not only harmless, but could actually be beneficial to your health... well, sort of.
 
As it turns out, the presence of copepods in New Yorkers' water has been known for a long time. Gizmodo highlighted an experiment carried out a few years ago by Reddit user ftothe3, who stained the water with a special dye to make the nearly invisible beasties show up clearly under a microscope – resulting in the images you see here.
 
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Photo: ftothe3/New Reddit Journal of Science
 
Those health benefits I mentioned? It turns out you can actually eliminate disease-carrying mosquitoes by introducing copepods into any water containers in which mosquito larvae develop; the critters then snack on the larvae, cutting the mosquito breeding cycle short. So there, now you can stop worrying and learn to love your tiny shrimp friends.
 
Unfortunately I can't say the same for the water-dwelling microbes known as Naegleria fowleri, which will totally eat your brain...
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