By Dan Liftman
Rio de Janeiro will not keep its promise of cleaning polluted Guanabera Bay for the 2016 Olympics, Mayor Eduardo Paes said. Cleaning the bay was part of the pitch Rio made in being awarded the Games. Olympic sailors have described the 2016 venue as a “sewer.” Sailors have talked of dodging floating sofas, animal carcasses and plastic trash bags that foul rudders.
Investigative reporter José “Dirtdigger” Bozulio recently hired a tour boat and spent a week traveling around the bay, recording his observations. Within an hour of setting out, he said, he spotted the remains of a large dog, two cats and a Zongo monkey floating by. The monkey, a species native to Brazil’s rain forest, was being feasted on by two large buzzards. “One buzzard looked me in the eye and screeched loudly,” said Bozulio. “I told the captain to get us the hell out of there fast.”
Further out in the bay, Bozulio reported seeing old sinks, water heaters and a large refrigerator. With the freezer door hanging open, a rotting steak had attracted the attention of another buzzard. By then, it was clear that the water was so polluted; it was thick enough to support all manner of junk, including the heaviest objects. Soon, Bozulio wrote in his report, the boat swerved sharply to one side to avoid hitting a 1957 Buick. The real shock, he said, was seeing “the captain wave to a man sitting behind the wheel. Samba music was blasting from the car’s radio as he ate his lunch.”
As the days passed, sightings of foreign objects became more bizarre. On the third day, the boat was passed by a large sofa, with a coffee table and reclining chair attached. To Bozulio’s amazement, a family of three was occupying the furniture. “The woman was chatting on her cell phone, her son was playing a video game on his tablet and the dad was typing on his laptop. When they saw my shocked expression, the husband smiled and yelled, ‘We have Wi-Fi.’”
On day five, an entire small arena passed by, with about 50 people seated around a ring that was hosting cock fighting matches. “One man asked me if I’d like to place a bet,” said the reporter. “Later on, a seaplane floated by. That’s not unusual, since they can take off and land on water. The amazing thing was that there was a man underneath the plane working on it with power tools. When he noticed my surprised look, he stopped his work, held up his drill and said, ‘It runs on batteries.’”
On his last day on the bay, Bozulio reported that he thought he could no longer be shocked. That was until he was certain he saw a large green humanoid type creature swim by the boat. “It had gills! It looked like the Creature from the Black Lagoon in those 1950s movies.” He managed to snap a blurry photo of it with his cell phone. While his editors were unconvinced, the boat captain told Bozulio, “He’s down there, alright. I’ve seen him many times. He has a wife and kids, too.”
Since Bozulio’s account of his week on the bay went viral on the Internet, the Brazilian government has received letters from the Olympic sailing committees of several nations threatening to pull out of the Games if it is not cleaned up. Brazil is currently focused entirely on the World Cup of soccer and has taken no action yet. Still, there may be another boost to the nation’s economy on the horizon. Movie companies from around the world have expressed interest in remaking the Black Lagoon movies on the bay. Said Ignatz Pogolewicz, CEO of Poland’s Zyxqulbenaz Studios, “With the potential money and attention it could bring to Polish cinema, I’d even be willing to dive in and try to find him. I think he’d agree to star. Who wouldn’t want to be seen on movie screens all over the world? Godzilla is doing well in theaters. Why not bring back the Creature of the Black Lagoon?”