Medical scientists warn - Prolonged aquarium viewing may cause seizures.

Sunday 20 June 2059 27672 Shares

Medical scientists warn - Prolonged aquarium viewing may cause seizures.

Have you ever wondered why people are so fascinated with watching fish in an aquarium? Or why so many people visit places such as SeaWorld, the National Aquarium, or other underwater zoo destinations? It could be more than just a fleeting fancy. Watching swimming fish for prolonged periods of time may cause seizure activity.

Dr. Abigail R. Steadman of the Smithsonian Institute of Underwater Sciences, and Dr. Brandon Oden, chief executive director of medical research at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, recently concluded a year-long collaborative investigation into behaviors of visitors at five major sealife tourist attractions around the United States. They took detailed notes regarding length of viewing, behavior, rate of speech during viewing, size of aquarium, number of specimens per aquarium, gender, and generalized age of each individual.

The study concluded that light refraction, color combinations, and swift movement of ocean creatures created a perfect storm for abnormal neurological stimulation.

Dr. Oden explains, "We discovered that 95 of visitors went into a trance-like state when viewing the aquariums with the most color and largest number of specimens, such as a coral reef exhibit. A number of patrons seemed to be unresponsive to family or friends, a classic symptom of partial complex seizure activity. Likewise, some individuals were so deeply affected that they fell to the floor, thereafter taking a seated position which may last for lengthy periods of time."

Other findings of the study include children behaving erratically when viewing sea creatures, including a total loss of muscle strength when their parents attempted to leave the exhibit.

"Our study originally began as a marketing and promotional analysis for patrons to SeaWorld. But we soon discovered that patron behaviors were much more than choice - they were medical in nature," said Dr. Steadman.

While additional study is currently underway, aquariums across the nation are now placing warning signs in and around exhibits.

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