The Surprising Condiment Being Used To Save Sea Turtles

Most people don't like having to clean, but they still understand the importance of always having cleaning items stocked at their house in case of an eventual spill of something like oil or grease. When in a pinch, unconventional items can sometimes save the day. According to the Busy Bee Cleaning, things like ketchup, lemons, mustard, and vinegar can be used for cleaning purposes in case you've run out of your normal go-to products. 

But what happens when the spillage is on a much larger scale and living creatures are affected by it? Can condiments or regular cleaning products still be used then? Folks have seen how Dawn soap can help clean animals affected by oil spills (via NPR), but what happens when that oil and tar makes it into the animal's body? Per AP News, this is a critical issue that Israel was faced with during their most recent oil spill that has reportedly covered 120 miles of their coastline with sticky tar, affecting all the animal life that dwells in the area — most notably the native sea turtles.

Wildlife officials are using mayonnaise to help save sea turtles

Food & Wine reports that when Israel's National Sea Turtle Rescue Center was tasked with saving the affected sea turtles, they looked to mayonnaise to help do the job. Guy Ivgy, a medical assistant at the Sea Turtle Rescue Center, told AP News that when the center received the sea turtles, they arrived "full of tar" inside and out. So, they had to devise a plan to clear out their tracheas and digestive tracts. 

Ivgy also shared with AP News that the center feeds the sea turtles "substances like mayonnaise" to help clear out the tar from their system. The publication reports that following this medical regimen, the sea turtles should be back to their old ways within about two weeks. But, what exactly is it about a good dose of mayonnaise that can help clear out tar? Academic Life in Emergency Medicine explains that mayonnaise is a great alternative to petroleum-based products when it comes time to remove tar because it is oil-based. A Reddit thread even notes that mayo is used in hospitals to help remove tar from burn victims as well. Who knew that the egg yolk-based condiment could be so powerful?