How Did The Deepest Part Of The Ocean Get So Polluted?

Turns out, the bottom of the ocean is very, very polluted, more polluted than some of the most polluted regions on the surface of the globe.

One probe into the Marianas Trench only had to go about 16,000 feet down to find physical remnants of actual garbage, not just waste byproducts. Beer cans, plastic bags, even an entire, unopened can of SPAM was found resting along the Trench's wall. And unless it is removed, this trash can stay down there indefinitely, just piling up.

Plastics, for example, are made up of super-strong carbon to carbon bonds. These bonds are not prone to being broken down by organic organisms; the material hasn't existed in nature long enough for there to have evolved much to break it down.

In late 2016, a paper published in the journal Nature, examined the inhabitants of two of the deepest oceanic trenches in the world.Small little crustaceans called amphipods are the perfect study specimen, as they have fatty tissue, which stores not just fat but also any chemicals that are ingested.

And despite these amphipods being located in two different parts of the world, thousands of feet below the surface, they were ALL contaminated by what are called "persistent organic pollutants" or POPs.

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Read More:

Seeker: The Deepest Ocean Trenches Contain High Levels of Pollution

NOAA: Earth Day² - Encounters with Trash

Nature Ecology & Evolution: Bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants in the deepest ocean fauna