Skip to main content

Oh my goddess! Microscopic plastic in the plankton!

Each time I look through the microscope at plankton, it is like looking into an alternative universe where gravity has a lot less impact. It is breathtaking! I am awed. However, the thing that is weighing heavily on my heart, no matter where I have collected plankton I have found microscopic strands of plastic and UV-degraded plastic in my plankton samples. So far I have done microscopy on plankton found in Dublin Bay, Miyako Islands in Okinawa, Siwa in Egypt and the Open Ocean off the coast of Chile. Here is a photograph of plankton clinging to a piece of plastic. Microscopy by yours truly, Mara.

Another detail of plankton clinging to plastic, this plankton was gathered off the coast of Chile.