Monday, 25 February 2013

Litter discovered in the Earth's unexplored realms

"Litter discovered in the Earth's unexplored realms" is a caption taken from today's Guardian article.

The article highlights the scary extent of how far we are polluting our planet.  

A deep sea survey being undertaken by UK royal research ship, James Cook, has found litter 5,000m underwater. This deep sea survey in the Cayman Trough is the first to see this part of ocean, however they have found human litter to have arrived long before them....

Deep-sea pollution at 5,000 metres. Photograph: NERC (Image source:

Extract from the guardian article:

"In the logsheets that we use to record our observations at the seafloor, we have several categories for any human impacts that we encounter. To pass the time during a recent three-hour descent to the ocean floor, one of my research students asked me which of the categories I had seen before in recent deep-sea expiditions. The answer was all of them. Discarded fishing nets? Yes, on underwater mountains in the Indian Ocean. Discarded longlines? Yes, more than a mile deep in the remote south Atlantic. Plastic? Yes, a shopping bag at a deep-sea vent in a Pacific marine protected area. Scrap metal? Yes, a tangle of discarded pipework on an undersea volcanic ridge north of the Azores.

I wonder how long it took for the bottle to reach the seabed? Hours? days? Weeks...?


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