Are We Really Evil?

I guess not. In 1999, a study led by Peter Herring found evidence that noted that shrimp eyes from heavily visited vents were opaque because the light-sensing tissues had been destroyed. The potential culprit? Large megawatt lights on submersibles. A new study, soon to be published in the UK’s Marine Biological Association journal finds these effects may not be detrimental to shrimp populations. According to the BBC news, the new study finds that the TAG vent site no population change was detectable when data from 1994 and 2000 were compared. This suggests that the shrimp can rely on other sensory systems to survive.

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

2 Replies to “Are We Really Evil?”

  1. Still, I can’t help thinking that if curious shrimps sent giant machines ashore that blinded large numbers of Americans (even by accident) there might be consequences. Like war.

  2. I just posted an article at my blog, The Other 95% about the vent shrimp eye for background.

    One thing to keep in mind is the frequency of visits to vents sites. The mid-Atlantic Ridge probably get the most attention and visits to the same sites more than a few times a month is really stretching. Other vent sites are visited a few times per year. While the bright submersible lights may be blinding, on a population level I doubt much harm is being done.

    But to learn more about this fascinating shrimp check out my article!

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