Blue sea dragons, which have armor made of man-o-war prey they hunted, are living in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. (Image Credit: Rebecca Helm/Twitter)
I've been so worried about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It's a monument to environmental disasters. Or so I thought. It seems life has found a way.
Ben Lecomte, an elite distance swimmer, recently discovered life loitering around the edge of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch as he approached that area. Researchers from various universities around the world captured and investigated his findings. Among them, the University of North Carolina's Rebecca Helm explained the study on Twitter. She also posted remarkable images and videos of the animals living in the patch.
A video posted by Helm shows blue sea dragons swimming around. "The blue sea dragons… eat man-o-war and steal their stinging cells. Covering their bodies in an armor made from the weapons of their vanquished prey," said Helm. She also said it's not a great idea to clean the area with physical nets and plastic removal because the patch houses all sorts of fishes and animals. One way to solve this issue involves preventing plastic pollution at the source to stop the patch from increasing in size.
Placing nets in the water to capture garbage also removes the animals. Helm showed this issue occurring in 2019, where life was removed during initial cleanup efforts. Cleanup efforts in 2021 also raised concerns for the same reasons. Then, earlier this year, a non-profit called the Ocean Cleanup faced allegations of faking the photos of the plastic collection.
"Earlier this year, I warned that @TheOceanCleanup would catch and kill floating marine life. This week they announced they're collecting plastic, and their picture shows HUNDREDS of floating animals trapped with plastic (red circles). We need to talk about this," Helm posted on Twitter.
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