The deepest parts of the ocean always pose a mystery to us. What lies there, what sort of creatures rule those dark segments of the mighty seas? Scientists have spent countless moments studying these sectors of the earth and each research has unravelled something or the other that has taken off the veil on our understanding of one of the rarest parts of the planet. In a sort of unexpected turn of events, scientists have rather made another startling discovery to find a long-time friend in the deepest part of the ocean known—Pacific’s Mariana Trench, at a depth of 36,000 feet or 10,898 metres. Yes, the ‘friend’ is plastic—an element that we have adopted as our biggest usage tool in our daily lives and that actually is destroying everything we have known as creation.
The research was conducted by a team of scientists from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) in Yokosuka, Japan. The study represents not only the deepest evidence of plastic pollution that what plastic pollution does to the environment, but also is a stark reminder of the reach of these little devils. While most of us are content with throwing away plastic bottles and other items just about anywhere we like, without giving a second thought about the ill-effects of plastic bottle pollution and the threat plastics as a whole pose to the planet, this fact just gives us a big jolt of what the concoction of these seemingly ‘simple’ tasks have caused!
Multiple international teams all over the world were conducting these studies to find out what laid at the deepest parts of the ocean. It was the scientists from JAMSTEC who, among the man-made debris that included metal, rubber, fishing gear, and other materials, also found a plastic bag, and loads of other macro and micro plastic elements. The research only involved the items that were present on the sea floor and not on the surface that makes the fact all the more intimidating. We already know the hazard plastic has caused to different marine species (animals and plants) at the top and mid levels of the ocean ecosystem. We know the plight of the thousands of turtles, sea birds, fishes, crabs, and even whales that die every year due to plastic pollution. Now, we have the evidence that the deepest levels of the ocean also don’t quite escape the plastic trap! Almost ninety percent of the debris was single use plastic that is thrown off after use by millions around the globe. Therefore, it’s quite startling that the items we dispose off so thoughtlessly can penetrate into regions which have almost next to nil human penetration. We have actually built up a global chain, a chain of destruction that has annexed land, air, water, and life itself—all the elements of our planet.
Having talked about the ‘Plastic Park’ last time, it’s again disheartening to note the reach of these elements that we have been using like anything for the past few decades. We really need to stand up and understand the implication of our day to day activities and the moment has come for a real global movement to stop using plastic. Otherwise, everything we know would be lost, including us, in the near future! Well, if you don’t want to go that far, let’s imagine a seemingly nearer implication of these plastic pollution or plastic bottle pollution. Imagine one day; humans finally have complete and easy access to the deepest parts of the ocean, anywhere around the world. What would happen if we just go there to see everything that we had thought—throbbing with mysterious, unfathomable designs of life we have ever known—has been actually destroyed even before we could have seen them? It will be a part of the world that we would never, ever truly be able to explore!
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