A massive molasses spill off the coast of Hawaii has led to a state coastal warning this week, as bacteria, eels, and sharks may be drawn to the molasses-caked waters, the Hawaii Department of Health has confirmed. According to CNN this Friday, Sept. 13, the sticky spill occurred in Honolulu Harbor, and could lead to a higher number of predatory attacks (like shark attacks) due to the pollution attracting more predators with so many fish species dying.
The massive molasses spill is being said by the health department to be no major threat to humans, per say, but the bacteria and pollution could pose indirect dangers due to a rise in sharks and eels.
"While molasses is not harmful to the public directly, the substance is polluting the water, causing fish to die and could lead to an increase in predator species," reported the notice. "The nutrient-rich liquid could also cause unusual growth in marine algae, stimulate an increase in harmful bacteria and trigger other environmental impacts."
Already some viral photos and tragic images of the molasses-filled seafloor and high numbers of dead marine species can be seen near the coast of Hawaii. The massive molasses spill is said to be one of the worst natural disasters in the area in recent decades, and could cause serious repercussions to the environment and wildlife there for years to come.
A majority of the sticky, heavy, liquid-like substance has fallen to the bottom of the ocean floor.
"I didn't know so many creatures were down there before, but they're all dead, and they're all laying across the bottom -- hundreds and hundreds, thousands," said one marine biologist who helped capture the footage.
Health department workers in Hawaii and in Honolulu Harbor are tasked with picking up these numerous dead sea animal carcasses, while also trying to take water samples in order to calculate the exact damage the molasses spill might have caused.
"This is the worst environmental damage to sea life that I have come across, and it's fair to say that this is a biggie, if not the biggest, that we've had to confront in the state of Hawaii," Deputy Director Gary Gill said to a local news source.
Even some predators, too, like the eels and sharks, might be in for a threat if they come too close to the sticky molasses.
"It seemed like they were trying to gasp for air," one witness and Hawaii resident Sachi Uehara told KITV this week. "There were, I would say, over 50 eels that were up at the surface that we could see."
Finally, the Health Department is warning the public not to swim wherever waters are still brown, and to not eat of any fish that may have been affected by the massive molasses spill, which was caused this Monday when a ship loaded with over 1,600 tons of the sticky substance lost its cargo.