The Thames Is So Full Of Cocaine It’s Pranging Out London’s Eels, Study Suggests

Baby glass European eels.


The constant low level of cocaine entering the River Thames is enough to give London’s aquatic fauna a proper case of the jitters, according to research from Kings College London and collaborators in Naples.

Photo: Valerie Everett

Analysis of waste-water entering the Thames near the Houses of Parliament (I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING) shows consistently high cocaine levels throughout the week, suggesting a city that’s more than partial to a cheeky mid-week sesh, or put another way, struggling with everyday drug addiction.

Researchers describe the Class A contamination as so high it lies ‘outside of the quantifiable range’, which seems like… a lot? (Like maybe make the range a bit higher, lads.)

“London is known as one of the highest consumers of cocaine and this suggested everyday usage.”

As for the eels themselves, thank the University of Naples Federico II for submerging some unlucky specimens in coke-addled waters, confirming that the environment tended to make the eels ‘hyperactive’ while also damaging their skeletal muscles. (No word on if it causes crushingly circular conversations about the relative electoral merits of Jeremy Corbyn.) It really is a hell of a drug.

h/t Sunday Times

See our guide to London’s best riverside pubs, but please stay off the gak. Thanks!

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