Can you imagine how deep 35,849 feet is? Can you guess what one can find in such depths of the ocean? The answer to the first question is that – 35,849 feet is the depth of the Mariana Trench which was recently explored by Victor Vescovo and his team for the discovery channel’s series “Deep Planet”.
The expedition, to say the least, is a recording breaking one in which the explorers discovered four new prawns like species and saw various other animals found only in the depths of the ocean. In spite of these new discoveries, something else surprised the explorers even more than the sea creatures. Plastic.
Yes!!! The explorers found plastic at the bottom of the ocean. They found a plastic bag and candy wrappers in this four-hour excursion. Isn’t that alarming? Plastic has reached places which are unknown and can be seen or explored only using the best technologies. As per the United Nations, we generate more than 300 million tonnes of plastic annually. No wonder we can’t manage its disposal and it is literally all over the place.
It is clear that plastic dominates the globe even more than we do. The United Nations has also found microplastics in whales and other deep sea dwelling animals. Though we know that plastic can take over a hundred years to decompose, we haven’t really done much to reduce the prominence of single-use plastic in our houses. It’s time that the amount of plastic waste generated decreases and the existing damage caused to various ecosystems is mitigated.
Though earlier expeditions into the Mariana trench have been successful, Vescovo’s record broke the previous record of deep sea diving by 36 feet and is proof of the advancements in the field of marine technology which made the expedition possible across the harshest ocean.
Vescovo’s team is looking forward to testing the collected marine animals for problematic microplastics which are known to persist in the bodies of sea animals across the globe.