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Scientist Finds Plastic During First Ever Visit To World’s Third Deepest Ocean Trench

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Scientist Finds Plastic During First Ever Visit To World’s Third Deepest Ocean Trench

A scientist and explorer have travelled where no human has gone before and what they found down there was shocking.

In the world's third deepest ocean trench, microbial oceanologist Dr Deo Florence Onda and Victor Vescovo from Caladan Oceanic managed to find plastic pollution.

The two peered into The Emden Deep, also called the Galathea Deep or Galathea Depth, which goes down 10,540 metres below sea level off the coast of the Philippines.

No person to have ever lived on the earth has visited this section of the ocean and the duo was excited about the things they might discover.

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During their 12-hour journey, Dr Onda described how ridiculous it was to see all the pollution.

"There was one funny scene when we were exploring the area. There was one white material floating around," he said.

"I was saying, 'Victor, that's a jellyfish.' We went there and approached, and it was just plastic. The only unusual thing there was the garbage. There was a lot of garbage in the trench.

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"There were a lot of plastics, a pair of pants, a shirt, a teddy bear, packaging and a lot of plastic bags. Even me, I did not expect that, and I do research on plastics."

The microbial oceanologist said it was pretty disheartening to see that level of pollution so far down in the ocean.

While it's no secret that our waterways are being littered on a mass scale, it's nuts to think little bits of rubbish have fallen that far.

Dr Onda added: "Seeing it for the first time was a privilege as a human being, representing 106 million Filipinos and billions of people of the world.

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"But being a witness to the extent of pollution, and being a witness to the gravity of the plastics problem from the surface to the bottom of the ocean, is another thing.

"It becomes my responsibility to tell people that their garbage doesn't stay where they put it. It goes somewhere else and it will sink."

This isn't something that's unique to The Emden Deep.

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When a team of explorers set a new record for the deepest dive ever recorded, they also found plastic.

Back in 2019, the explorers dropped to a mind-bending 10,928 metres below sea level in the Mariana Trench, the lowest part of our ocean. It was 16 metres lower than the previous record, which was shockingly set in 1960.

Victor Vescovo was also on this mission and they found a plastic bag, an angular piece of metal and another plastic object with writing on it.

"It was very disappointing to see obvious human contamination of the deepest point in the ocean," he said.

Featured Image Credit: Verola Media/Caladan Oceanic

Topics: News, plastic pollution

Stewart Perrie
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