hey so people seemed to like my corvid thanatology piece and i'm currently running on four hours of sleep so let's have some fun and educate you fools on something that we (humans, the people who inhabit earth) barely know jack about, even though we're literally living with it on the planet with us. like that weird roommate that we really like and can be super interesting, but sometimes they're just... so weird. so they scare us sometimes.
in which we have only discovered approximately 5 percent of it.
let that sink in.
for the people who can't do math, there's still ninety-five percent of that ocean left that we don't know jack about, really. well, to be more specific, let me just quote an article really quick (for emphasis, this beauty is from 2016, so if it's outdated forgive me but i honestly don't care):
"only five percent of the seafloor has been topographically imaged, which leaves 65 percent of the entire planet (not counting land masses) relatively unknown. yet, since the dawn of space exploration, NASA has thoroughly mapped Mercury, the dwarf planet Ceres, almost all of Venus, and even the Red Planet, some 140 million miles away. and don't forget the stunningly detailed satellite images of the moon's every nook and cranny."
so why the hell haven't we been groping the ocean floor with our fancy tech?
[insert overdramatic shrug here]
i literally cannot tell you that.
on a side note, let's talk about all the plastic in the ocean. i'll switch to two websites i've clicked just by looking up a random google search about the ocean that involves plastic. the first one is A Guide to Plastic in the Ocean, which is on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (or NOAA) website.
they're like NASA, but ocean.
so, here are the most commonly found plastics in the ocean:
1.) the plastic filters at the end of cigarettes. or cigarette butts. whatever they're called.
2.) bottle caps.
3.) straws [insert vsco girl joke here]
4.) cups and plates
5.) single-use bags
6.) food wrappers
7.) beverage bottles.
hey! if you're wondering why i listed those, it's so you go and pick up the trash that you see on the ground if it looks sanitary enough to touch! if it looks nasty, don't freaking touch it! if you touch nasty littered trash and get sick and blame me for it then sue me! except don't! because i told you not to touch the nasty trash!
you wanna hear another fun fact? scientists think about eight million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean every year. eight million. that's kinda gross.
also, microplastics exist! if you don't know what those are, you can think of those small beads found in some forms of soap and other personal care products, but they can also include bits of what used to be bigger items.
"Microfibers, shed from synthetic clothing or fishing nets, are another problematic form of microplastic. These fibers, beads, and microplastic fragments can all absorb harmful pollutants like pesticides, dyes, and flame retardants, only to later release them in the ocean."
yikes! that doesn't sound too good for the ocean does it?
rhetorical question - it's not good for the ocean. on the other website i clicked on, it talks about the great pacific garbage patch, which is a "soupy mix of plastics and microplastics, now twice the size of Texas, in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean."
to elaborate on twice the size of texas, our good old southern state's area is 268,597 miles squared (678,052 square kilometers). thanks google. so that's kind of big, isn't it?
another rhetorical question. yes, it is very big.
but hey! what's the harm in elaborating even more? let's say that the average height of a woman in america is 5'4'', or five-foot, four inches. every one mile equals 5280 feet. that's already a big number. here's the fun part.
if we take the 268,597 miles and multiply that by the 5820 that's in every mile, here's the number we get:
1.48192e9. alternatively: 1,418,192,160 feet. written out, that's one billion, four hundred eighteen million, one hundred ninety-two thousand, one hundred sixty feet.
i'm not doing that in kilometers because i'm lazy. but that's a really big number.
so, the great pacific garbage patch is that big. if you forgot why we (read: ME) did that math.
by the way, your average plastic doesn't ever degrade completely. it is always somehow existing in this world, regardless of what happens to it.
so, all the plastic that you, your loved ones, friends, peers, teachers, etc. etc. have thrown away?
they still exist. and they're probably either in a landfill or in the ocean. and hey! the ocean is kind of freaking important to our existence! so for the love of all that is OCEAN, the following are some of the things that you can do to help not kill the ocean!:
don't use single-use plastics!
don't use single-use plastics!
DON'T USE SINGLE-USE PLASTICS! THINGS LIKE PLASTIC BAGS, PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES, STRAWS [insert vsco girl joke here] ARE SINGLE-USE PLASTICS! IT'S NOT THAT HARD TO FIND ALTERNATIVES TO SINGLE-USE PLASTICS! LITERALLY LOOK IT UP AND FIND EASY SOLUTIONS TO LESSEN YOUR PLASTIC USE! RECYCLE!
DON'T LITTER! IT'S USUALLY AGAINST THE LAW! SO IF YOU LITTER, YOU ARE LITERALLY BREAKING. THE. LAW. SO DON'T DO IT! AND IF YOU SEE YOUR FRIENDS LITTER, PUNCH THEM! EXCEPT DON'T ACTUALLY PUNCH YOUR FRIENDS! JUST TELL THEM THAT THEY ARE HARMING THE ENVIRONMENT A LOT MORE THAN THEY THINK THEY ARE!
IF YOU TALK ABOUT HOW AWFUL IT IS FOR PEOPLE TO LITTER AND HOW YOU WANT TO HELP THE ENVIRONMENT, DON'T JUST BE ALL BARK AND NO BITE! FIND WAYS AROUND YOUR TOWN, CITY, WHEREVER TO CONTACT YOUR GOVERNMENT PEOPLE AND ASK THEM REALLY NICELY TO HELP THE GODDAMN ENVIRONMENT!
ALSO! VOLUNTEER TO PICK UP TRASH IN NEARBY PARKS OR WHEREVER! BE A GOOD PERSON! IT DOESN'T TAKE THAT MUCH EFFORT!
so yeah. if you'd like to educate yourselves further on how much we've messed up the ocean, google stuff. a lot of it is really depressing, but people don't realize or even care that much about the ocean. please. the ocean is really beautiful but it won't be beautiful if we don't take care of it, and so many animals are dying because of what we toss into the ocean.
hope you enjoyed educating yourselves on the ocean a little bit because this only skims the surface of what all the ocean is really about. maybe i'll do another one of these, but probably (hopefully) not when i'm running on four hours of sleep.