You may be shocked to learn that the Gowanus Canal, the tiny little tributary that runs between Red Hook and Park Slope, is a polluted mess. Thankfully, do-gooding deep-canal divers are venturing into the creek to investigate just how polluted a mess it is. The answer: very polluted.

But wait! Before you grab your goggles and jump in, make sure to take some necessary precautions. Avra Cohen prepared for a dive by getting "inoculated against hepatitis A and tetanus." And typhoid! Then he put on a vulcanized rubber suit and two pairs of gloves and dove in to "collect samples from an unidentified microbial colony growing on the bottom." (Great first date idea, Brooklyn singles.)

Turns out he might've wanted to stock up on penicillin while getting those shots.

Biology students from the New York City College of Technology recently detected gonorrhea in a drop of water from the canal, according to Scienceline, a New York University publication.

The Clap? In the Gowanus? Fresh Kills, sure, but Red Hook! That's where our Ikea's going! Next thing you'll tell us there's herpes in Newtown Creek.

Divers Who Jump in to Take the Mystery Out of City Waterways [NYT]