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​Scientist Travels 10,000 Metres Underwater And Finds Teddy Bear And Plastic Waste

Jess Hardiman

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​Scientist Travels 10,000 Metres Underwater And Finds Teddy Bear And Plastic Waste

Featured Image Credit: Caladan Oceanic/Verola Media

A scientist who travelled 10,000 metres underwater to explore the ocean was stunned to find plastic, clothing and even a teddy bear.

Marine scientist Dr Deo Onda recently visited the third deepest spot on Earth, Emden Deep in the Philippine Trench, with undersea explorer Victor Vescovo - becoming the first people to dive to the bottom.

Dr Deo Onda. Credit: Caladan Oceanic/Verola Media
Dr Deo Onda. Credit: Caladan Oceanic/Verola Media

When they got there, they were shocked to find various reminders of life on dry land, including 'a lot of plastics' and even a cuddly toy.

Speaking to Channel News Asia, Onda - who is an oceanographer from the University of the Philippines' Marine Science Institute - said: "There was a lot of garbage in the trench.

"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."

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

"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."

Onda and Vescovo, who is from undersea technology company Caladan Oceanic, used a submersible called 'Limiting Factor' for their 12-hour expedition, which took four hours to descend, four hours to explore and another four hours to return to the surface.

Speaking to Vice, Onda recalled what it had been like to stumble upon the objects at the bottom of Emden Deep - having originally mistaken the toy for a strange sea creature.

Credit: Caladan Oceanic/Verola Media
Credit: Caladan Oceanic/Verola Media

"We saw it from the window [of the submersible]," he said.

"First we saw eyes and thought it was a creature.

"But no, it was a teddy bear."

He also said of the 12-hour expedition: "I was awake the entire time.

"When you get to 12 hours, you realise how tiring it is. We're asked to fast and limit liquid consumption the day before, because there's no toilet in the submersible.

"I also couldn't sleep the night before because I was so excited."

Topics: World News, Pollution, News, Sea, ocean

Jess Hardiman
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