Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Lake Minnewaska in the Catskills Mountains in New York State is infested with leeches!
Leeches are worm-like parasites that live in lakes, marshes and streams. They can grow to over 2 inches long and have 5 pairs of eyes. They also have suckers on both ends that are filled with teeth. That's how they clamp on to snails, snapping turtles and even unlucky humans to suck their blood!

How leeches got into Lake Minnewaska is a big mystery—especially since none of the other lakes nearby have leeches. What scientists do know is that over the past few years, the lake has gone from having a lot of acid in it; this made it inhospitable not only for leeches, but for fish, too. To having very little acid; now there are two kinds of fish living in the lake, plus lots of leeches. Recently, the lake was treated with a pesticide called copper sulfate. But it didn't kill the leeches. Swim here at your own risk!

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