Loch Ness Golf Balls

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.


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!

 

 

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.