You’d have to be living under a rock not to know that acid rain is a monumental problem, but these days, the consequences of industrialization are beyond anything we could have imagined. Toxic pollution has gotten so bad that several of Canada’s water bodies have turned into a gelatinous mess.

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Scientists at Cambridge University released a new study showing that acid rain is causing a jelly-like plankton to explode in population. Acid rain has been destroying calcium levels in Canada’s lakes, which causes calcium-rich plankton to die off, leaving their competitors to start taking over and filling in the void. The result is water that looks a lot more like a gelatin dessert than a lake.

Related: INFOGRAPHIC: A Look at Earth’s Oceans, and How We Can Help to Keep Them Healthy

Besides clogging up Canada’s water filtration systems, the plankton growth upsets the natural balance in the lake, which could take thousands of years to restore. And in the meantime, 20 percent of Canada’s drinking supply is threatened by the gooey water. According to Dr. Andrew Tanentzap, co-author of the study, “we may have pushed these lakes into an entirely new ecological state.”

Via Gizmodo

Images via Cambridge University