In a story that I can only describe as disgustingly creative, Japanese researchers have discovered that salmon sperm can help separate rare earth elements (REEs) from scrap metals. In a study conducted by the University of Tokyo, salmon sperm was found to separate REEs from ore, magnets and electronic waste.

Fish sperm had already been found to be useful in other areas, most notably the use of herring DNA in fire coating cotton goods. Cotton materials coasted with herring sperm were proven to be less flammable than cotton samples not dipped in the DNA found in herring sperm. While there is a lot more science going on then just rubbing fish sperm on objects and seeing what happens, the fact that salmon and herring sperm can be useful is grossly awesome.

While we probably won’t ever want to think about the use of fish sperm again, it is interesting to see that the natural world can provide amazing services from the most-random of naturally found fluids. The research is continuing to delve into all the recycling benefits of salmon sperm, and in the near future, salmon may play an ever increasing role in recycling and reusing the earth’s natural resources.