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Fish depression is a real thing, say researchers who have studied the condition Photo by Dove/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

A new study discovered that gilled animals can develop depression just as the average human can — often resulting in a lack of engagement and disinterest in food or environment.

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The animals have become the perfect platform to test antidepressants, according to new research from Troy University in Alabama.

Scientists have experimented with the “novel tank test.” If a fish in a new tank is swimming around the top of the tank within five minutes, it’s not depressed. But, if it’s hanging around in the bottom half, it is.

“The neurochemistry [between fish and people] is so similar that it’s scary,” Troy University biology and environmental sciences professor Julian Pittman told the Times.

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“One of the things we’re finding [is] that fish are naturally curious and seek novel things out,” Penn State University fishery professor Victoria Braithwaite told the paper.

Anna Caplan contributes to Rare Houston and Rare Animals. 
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