Loch Ness Golf Balls

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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Whimsical: A group of Scottish scientists recently went looking for the Loch Ness monster. Not-so-whimsical: They found no trace of Nessie. Instead they found evidence of…old people. In the form of golf balls. Thousands of them. The balls came from a nearby driving range popular among tourists.

So clearly this is fodder for another, even sadder, verse of “Puff, the Magic Dragon” about Jackie Paper’s insipid golden years. But if the coming-of-age overtones alone aren’t depressing enough for you, consider this: According to CNN, the 300 million golf balls that are lost or discarded every year in the US will take up to 1,000 years to decompose. During that time, they can contaminate surrounding ecosystems with heavy metals:

It was found that during decomposition, the golf balls dissolved to release a high quantity of heavy metals. Dangerous levels of zinc were found in the synthetic rubber filling used in solid core golf balls. When submerged in water, the zinc attached itself to the ground sediment and poisoned the surrounding flora and fauna.

And friendly water monsters, too, no doubt. Maudlin!

 

 

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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