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Hard to Swallow: Images of Plastic Found Inside Marine Animals

Most of us know about the Texas-sized plastic garbage patch that inhabits the North Pacific Ocean, but did you ever stop to think about how much of that plastic is winding up inside the stomach of helpless animals? A recent article on OceanAid.org reveals that researchers estimated that 35% of fish collected during an expedition had plastic in their stomachs. It’s a frightening statistic that is only growing larger every day.

It’s one thing to hear about the plastic that is being eaten by marine animals, but it’s another thing to see it. Most of us follow the rule, “I’ve got to see it to believe it,” so here is photographic proof that plastic is being consumed by marine life.

Below is a picture of marine debris that was found in the stomach of ONE green turtle. This juvenile turtle was captured off the coast of Argentina.

Image: seaturtle.org

If you’re still not convinced that plastic actually does end up in the stomach of marine life, take a look at the images below. They are the remains of baby albatrosses found on the remote islands of Midway Atoll. The parent birds, who think the plastic is floating food, unknowingly feed the plastic to their babies. The babies choke on the plastic and die.

Images: chrisjordan.com

The pictures of the albatrosses were taken by Chris Jordan, a visual artist and activist who is currently filming a documentary titled Midway. The film follows Jordan on the Midway islands and reveals the tragic lifecycle of the albatross. You can learn more about the Midway film here.

Now are you convinced that plastic is literally everywhere? The tragic demise of these animals is a direct result of us throwing away plastic into our oceans, so it’s up to us to recycle to stop this cycle of death and give them back their lives.

About Trish Broome

Trish is a half Korean hip hop head who writes satire music articles on The Rap Insider and muses over culture and diversity on Mixed Nation. In her spare time you can find her eating kimchi or tweeting at @TheGreenGroove.

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