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How do goldfish deal with icy waters? They get drunk!

TabithaShiflett
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TabithaShiflett
How do goldfish deal with icy waters? They get drunk!

Ever wonder how anything manages to live underwater between November to February? Well, according to new research, goldfish get drunk to stay alive in the icy water of the winter.

That’s right.

These popular schoolroom pets produce lactic acid by swimming harder when lakes freeze over, which distills to ethanol, a.k.a. pure alcohol.

"During their time in oxygen-free water in ice-covered ponds, which can last for several months in their northern European habitat, blood alcohol concentrations in crucian carp can reach more than 50 mg per 100 milliliters, which is above the drink drive limit in these countries.” biologist, Dr. Michael Berenbrink told Scientific Reports.

"However, this is still a much better situation than filling up with lactic acid, which is the metabolic end product for other vertebrates, including humans, when devoid of oxygen."

Researchers also found that the crucian carp, a close cousin of the goldfish, produces lactic acid to create energy.

“The ethanol allows the carp to be the only fish surviving these harsh environments,” lead study author, Dr. Catherine Elisabeth Fagernes added. "It's no wonder then that the crucian carp's cousin the goldfish is arguably one of the most resilient pets under human care."

[Feature Image By Pixabay]