Is There ANYWHERE on Earth Free From Pollution? Nope…

barrel-eye-marine-pollutionScientists have discovered “extraordinary” levels of toxic pollution…

…In the most remote and inaccessible place on the planet – the deep Mariana trench in the Pacific Ocean.  Small crustaceans that live in the pitch-black waters of the trench, captured by a robotic submarine, were contaminated with 50 times more toxic chemicals than crabs that survive in heavily polluted rivers in China.

Ocean-pollution-mariana-trenchIn a surprise finding, scientists say the amount of pollutants in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench—one of the most remote locations on Earth—is so high that it outpaces the amounts found in the heavily polluted rivers of China and Asia.

Fanfin-Seadevil-amazing-ocean-animals“We still think of the deep ocean as being this remote and pristine realm”…

“…safe from human impact, but our research shows that, sadly, this could not be further from the truth,” said Alan Jamieson of Newcastle University in the UK, who led the research.

The trench and nearby areas are home to a variety of creatures, including deep-sea snail-fish, glowing jellyfish, and giant amoebas, that could have been exposed to these chemicals despite the trench’s remote location.

amphipod-ocean-pollutionThe very bottom of the deep trenches like the Mariana are inhabited by incredibly efficient scavenging animals…

…like the 2cm-long amphipods we sampled, so any little bit of organic material that falls down, these guys turn up in huge numbers and devour it,” said Jamieson.

He said it was not unexpected that some persistent organic pollutants (POP) would be found in the deepest parts of the oceans: “When it gets down into the trenches, there is nowhere else for it to go. The surprise was just how high the levels were – the contamination in the animals was sky high.”

“The fact that we found such extraordinary levels of these pollutants really brings home the long-term, devastating impact that mankind is having on the planet.”

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