Dolphins and swans are appearing in Venice's newly quiet canals

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This is the news we needed to hear. As the world descends into pandemic and panic, the news that the waters in the Venice canals have become clear enough to see the return of fish, swans and even dolphins is enough to raise any mood.

With the coronavirus crisis escalating globally, Italy has been in lockdown since Sunday 8th March, and as a result, the streets and canals of one of the country’s most popular tourist hotspots are empty. The water, which is normally murky with mud and debris, and filled with visitors seeking an authentic ride in one of the city’s famous gondolas, has become clear, paving the way for its inhabitants to swim freely. Locals have even spotted dolphins swimming up to the banks of the canals. If there were ever a silver lining to the current global crisis, we think this is it.

Italians have been celebrating this news on Twitter, with some Venice locals claiming that “nature is reclaiming its spaces during quarantine in Italy”.

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It is not just Venice which has seen an influx of animals; further south, residents in Rome have noticed that with the absence of hoards of tourists throwing pennies into the popular Fontana di Trevi, ducks have taken to the water.

The disappearance of tourists and the closing of factories around Italy has resulted in further beneficial environmental effects. According to data from the European Space Agency, the levels of nitrogen dioxide gas, which is produced by, amongst other things, cars and factories, has seen a decline as a result of the population at home unless absolutely necessary.

So while we’re stuck all at home, we can at least enjoy the news that in Venice, dolphins have taken to the quarantine like a fish to water.

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