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Underwater cables hypnotize crabs – scientists

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Offshore renewable energy cables create an electromagnetic field that attracts and holds them in place, forgetting about food and reproduction.

Scottish scientists from Heriot-Watt University have investigated the unusual effect of submarine electrical cables of wind turbines on brown crabs. They sit as if hypnotized, forgetting about food and reproduction.

It is noted that such an effect on crabs is exerted by the electromagnetic field emitted by the cables.

Researchers fear that offshore wind farms are endangering an entire population of large land crab, on which the fishing industry in Europe and small local economies is heavily dependent.

The experiment involved 60 brown crabs at the St. Abbs Marine Station. Animals reached for the source of the electromagnetic field and froze in place.

According to The Guardian, radiation not only “hypnotizes” crustaceans, but it also affects their blood cells, which can make them more susceptible to bacterial infection or lead to mutation.

Alastair Lyndon, from Heriot-Watt University, stated:

“Underwater cables emit an electromagnetic field.

“When it’s at a strength of 500 microTeslas and above, which is about 5% of the strength of a fridge door magnet, the crabs seem to be attracted to it and just sit still.”

Scientists believe that a similar phenomenon makes it difficult for crabs to migrate, and also affects their metabolism.

“The change in activity levels also leads to changes in sugar metabolism – they store more sugar and produce less lactate, just like humans,” he said.

Researchers warned that this might have an impact on fishing markets, with crabs being one of the most expensive crustacean captures in the UK.

Earlier it was reported that in the United States, a deer wore a tire around its neck for two years.

 The animal was freed from an unusual “necklace”, the weight of which, together with the accumulated debris, was 16 kg.

The findings were published in the Journal of Marine Science and Engineering.

Image Credit: Getty

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