If you’re feeling small and insignificant today, floating adrift in a sea of chaos without any true power to alter your destiny, consider this David-and-Goliath story. California’s ominously named Diablo County nuclear power plant has been knocked offline, not by human error or terrorist attack…but by an assault by jellyfish-like creatures that average between two and three inches long.
Called “salp,” the tiny critters began getting blown into the plant’s cooling-water intake cove. Plant workers noticed a change in water pressure, and they soon discovered that the little aquatic buggers were clogging up the screens in front of the plant’s intakes. As Mark Moline, a Cal Poly marine biology professor put it, “Both biology and ocean physics have teamed up against Diablo Canyon.”
In addition to the unfavorable wind that initiated the problem, Moline says that salps can reproduce both sexually and asexually, which means they can increase their numbers suddenly and exponentially. “You can have millions in a couple of days,” explained the scientist. The plant’s representatives said they didn’t expect any major effects on California’s power grid while Diablo Canyon is de-salped.
Or that’s what they want you to think, anyway. The article in San Luis Obispo’s Tribune points out that Diablo Canyon was previously knocked offline in 2008 when a swarm of almost 1,000 jellyfish floated into the intake cove. Coincidence? Or organized assault? And isn’t it odd that no one from Diablo Canyon has specifically denied that these are hive-mind space jellyfish carrying out a coordinated assault?
I, for one, welcome our gelatinous overlords.