Katy Perry's new album Prism is very bad. We're not just talking about the music, though. ("Roar" is rather catchy!) It's bad for the environment. At least, that's what officials say in Australia where the record's been deemed a "biosecurity concern."
Well, to be more specific, the album artwork is made of seedpaper, and comes with instructions to "spread the light" by planting it. Customs authorities, however, fear that this could introduce an invasive species of plant to the continent, violating Australia's strict quarantine controls. While domestic versions of the album include harmless seeds for the Swan River daisy, plenty of international versions are making their way into stores—and landscapes—further afield. Australian biosecurity officers are thus quarantining the international versions and evaluating their invasive potential.
It sounds funny, but it's not. (Okay, it's a little funny.) Invasive species are a big deal to Australia and its uniquely isolated ecosystems. Since it became the new New World, Australia's become home to all kinds of non-native plants and animals, artificially introduced species that have caused all kinds of trouble. From the hundreds of millions of rabbits running the countryside to the kudzu growing up the walls, invasive species are not only hard to control, they are nearly impossible to get rid of. Kind of like Katy Perry herself. [The Guardian]