Published: Aug. 9, 2023 at 5:41 PM EDT


(WFSB) – For many, a perfect day to head to the beach means taking a swim in Long Island Sound.

A local college professor went viral thanks to a TikTok video showing what’s in the water we could be swallowing.

@dr.bioforever If you like swimming in the ocean, it is just a matter of time until you will swallow a little water by accident. . But if you were to swallow a little bit of ocean water by accident, do not worry as it won’t make you sick. The hydrochloric acid that your stomach produces will kill the microorganisms that you ingest. . So don’t get scared! Microscopic life is always present in all aquatic ecosystems. Microscopic life like what you saw in the video is essential to maintain the overall health of aquatic ecosystems. . The problem is when an aquatic ecosystem like the ocean gets polluted. This will alter the balance in the ecosystem and microorganisms such as bacteria will thrive. For example, when ocean water contains excessive amounts of bacteria, this will lead to gastrointestinal infections, skin issues, or other worse problems. . These are the microorganisms that you see in the video (in order of appearance): Nauplius larva of a microscopic crustacean (copepod) Diatom next to grains of sand Broken frustule of a beautiful diatom Dinoflagellate Diatom Colonial diatom (I believe it’s Chaetoceros) and a protozoan swimming Another diatom colony forming a beautiful pattern A piece of decomposing algae with diatoms and protozoans and lots of other diatoms! …and yes, that thing at the beginning of the video was a jellyfish. . The diversity of life in the ocean is incredible (and necessary!) . For this video I used an Olympus CX31 microscope at 40x, 100x, 200x, and 400x magnification. #biology #microscopy #microscope #microorganisms #protozoans #diatoms #dinoflagellate #nauplius #diatoms #diatomeas #ecology #ocean #drbioforever ♬ Sail – AWOLNATION

Chances are, many people have swallowed a little bit of water while swimming.

Some might be grossed out when they see what’s in it.

The professor said it is nothing to worry about. He said rather it’s a chance to open some eyes about the environment all around us.

Dr. Adolfo Sanchez-Blanco, a biology Professor at Capital Community College in Hartford, started using social media and videos to get his students excited about biology and science.

One showing microorganisms went viral with nearly 7 million views on TikTok.

It is titled: “What you swallow when you swim in the ocean”.

While you see microscopic crustaceans and algae, Sanchez-Blanco said the point is to show people the beauty of biology.

He said whatever you do swallow, the acid in your stomach will take care of that.

More importantly, he said those microscopic creatures are incredibly important to the health of the water.

He added because you can’t see it with the naked eye, we don’t know that it’s there.

Dr. Adolfo Sanchez-Blanco/Capital Community College

“When you show it to them, all these creatures are there, all these creatures exist, that you are surrounded by these creatures. That’s when people get a little anxious, but it is okay, get used to it, because this is part of nature, this is part of life, and we are all part of the same ecological system,” Sanchez-Blanco said.

Sanchez-Blanco said the only concern you should have is if the water gets polluted. That is why swimming spots are tested weekly.

You can follow Sanchez-Blanco on YouTube HERE.

Local professor talks about what is in Long Island Sound water

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