Mariana Trench: A deep alien world with plastics

May 14, 2019, 8:25 AM EDT
(Source: Vincent Lou/flickr)
(Source: Vincent Lou/flickr)

The deepest manned sea dive ever recorded by a human came with mixed feelings. Victor Vescovo, a retired naval officer, explorer, and businessman, recently went down 35,853 feet into the Pacific Ocean, only to find that the deepest frontier has already been conquered by plastic scraps.

The presence of plastic litter on the deepest point of the ocean floor is a grim reminder that virtually every place on the planet is fouled by this man-made plastic material. The stats from the United Nations estimate nearly 100m tonnes of plastics in the world’s oceans, notes The Guardian.

The expedition, which marked multiple visits to the Challenger Deep — the deepest point in the ocean — also unearthed possibly four new species of amphipods, or shell-less crustaceans, reports Live Science. Is it only the spot that’s littered with plastic, or the marine life also carrying plastic traces inside them? That’s the next query the scientists are set to explore.