This Is What You're Drinking When You Drink Seawater
This story was originally published on May 11, 2017.
While some people out there may never hit the beach without their trusty reusable water bottles, there are others who trust their hydration needs to the elements.
As it turns out, sea water is never just salt and water.
Photographer David Littschwager photographed ocean water off the coast of Kona, Hawaii, and magnified it 25 times, seeing beyond what we can see with our normal sight.
In an interview with Jellywatch, via Colossal, “the magnification was 2x life size...To keep as much focus as possible the sample is in as little water as possible just covering the bottom of a 60mm petri dish. That takes about 15 drops of water, but you are only seeing a very small portion of the total sample.”
In the photo, there's a swarm of particles and organisms any other person wouldn’t think about when taking a dip on a sunny beach weekend.
However, Miriam Goldstein at Deep Sea News pointed out that this should be seen as a concentrated sample.
Some of the things he found include marine worms, crab larvae, copepods (a shrimp-like food for fish), fish eggs (not the fancy, caviar kind), cyanobacteria, and, perhaps the most scary, chaetognaths, a predatory plankton can inject paralytic venom, in some cases.
Time to invest in a reusable water bottle? (Just be sure you clean it regularly.)