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A horrifying discovery was recently made at the deepest part of the ocean... and sadly, it wasn't what you'd expect.
Now, considering that Mariana Trench is the deepest part of the ocean, you'd kind of expect some wild discoveries to be made there anyway.
It measures some 11km down and sits somewhere between Hawaii and the Philippines near the small island of Guam, far below the surface of the water - which is also the deepest spot on Earth, as per Scientific American.
Before we get into what's down there, scientists claim getting to the lowest beds of the sea is just as difficult as getting into outer space.
Victor Vescovo was the last human to manage the journey down to the sea bed of Mariana Trench and he reached a new record depth of 10.9km in April 2019 in a Triton 36000/2 submarine, built to withstand the extreme pressure, reports news.com.au.
And as for what he found?
Well, the American explorer came across a previously unknown crustacean species long with brightly coloured outcrops and a pink snailfish.
However, in a horrifying discovery, Vescovo managed to find lolly wrappers and, more specifically, a plastic shopping bag.
Unfortunately, he didn't find the Lost City of Atlantis, which would have been really cool - but more worryingly, the plastic waste was of major concern.
"We always had this sense that there was a part of the planet that was beyond, that was untouched by human action," Eric Galbraith, an ocean biochemist at the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies in Barcelona, said.
"That used to be true. And now it's no longer true."
Dr. Onda, a microbial oceanologist from the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute, also dove into the Emden Deep, part of the Philippines Trench.
"The Philippine Trench is already so deep, but human pollution was still able to reach it. What more for shallower environments like coral reefs and seagrass beds?" Onda told The Inquirer.
"[If we don't do anything], I wouldn't be surprised if I would get confused if I was in the Philippine Trench or in Manila Bay."
In 2018, researchers from the Institute of Deep Sea Science and Engineering in China took samples of water and sediment after discovering very concerning results.
In the journal Geochemical Perspectives Letters, they wrote: "Man-made plastics have contaminated the most remote and deepest places on the planet.
"The (deepest Mariana) zone is likely one of the largest sinks for microplastic debris on Earth, with unknown but potentially damaging impacts on this fragile ecosystem."
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