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Thanks To Humans, Ocean Floor Is Now a Garbage Dump

Thanks To Humans, Ocean Floor Is Now a Garbage Dump

In the depths of European oceans, you’ll find coral, sand—and old Heineken cans. Yup, human litter can be found even in the most far-reaching places on the planet, according to one of the biggest scientific surveys ever done of the seafloor. Using video and trawling surveys between 1999 and 2011, scientists analyzed 32 sites in the Atlantic Ocean, Arctic Ocean, and Mediterranean Sea. They found everything from bottles to plastic bags, clothing, and fishing nets—even more than 1,200 miles from land and nearly three miles below the water’s surface, the Guardian reports. Not a single site was litter-free. That means your garbage is on continental shelves, ocean ridges and deep canyons—the worst spot for garbage build-up, the study says.

Plastic was most common at 41% of the garbage found, while 34% was related to fishing—think nets and lines. Also spotted: wood, pottery, glass, paper, cardboard and even burnt coal residue left from steam ships more than 100 years ago.

“This survey has shown that human litter is present in all marine habitats, from beaches to the most remote and deepest parts of the oceans,” a researcher says. “Most of the deep sea remains unexplored by humans and these are our first visits to many of these sites, but we were shocked to find that our rubbish has got there before us.”

Smithsonian notes some 14 billion pounds of garbage enter the oceans each year, some of which animals eat, get tangled in, and often die.

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Photo credit: Hermione Project/Plymouth University

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114 comments

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4:38PM PDT on Aug 17, 2014

We should be ashamed of ourselves.

9:01AM PDT on May 27, 2014

I am not surprised, I worked on a ship years ago, all garbage was thrown overboard. Eventually we will pay for our actions. Mother earth can only take so much.

6:55AM PDT on May 16, 2014

Is this information suppose to surprise me? Since when is humanity a group which doesn't tamper, exploit and interfere with nature? Got to love it when mother nature fights back kicking man in the balls with a tsunami.

2:55AM PDT on May 13, 2014

:(

7:27AM PDT on May 12, 2014

Thanks for sharing this .Is there anything we Humans do not mess up and destroy?

4:28AM PDT on May 12, 2014

Humans are disgusting and have no regard for the environment . Not only they polluted the air, soil and now the oceans. They will be swimming in their own shit. They are already dying from pollution.

9:49AM PDT on May 11, 2014

Another part of the Planet we trash......so sad

6:25AM PDT on May 11, 2014

arigato

4:43AM PDT on May 11, 2014

We really do behave shamefully. Worse than any parasite

1:47AM PDT on May 11, 2014

it's tragic

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