The Emden Deep is an area that is part of the Philippine Trench, one of the deepest and oldest areas of the sea in the world. A recent expedition decided to explore this rarely examined place where no human had been before. But to the surprise of scientists, more than 10,000 meters deep they found neither strange creatures nor sea monsters, but plastic, clothes and even teddy bears.
When the doctor Deo Florence Onda, an oceanographer from the Institute of Marine Sciences of the University of the Philippines, embarked on the expedition, hoping to find some hidden mysteries in the depths of the sea; but instead encountered the footprint of human contamination that has reached even the most remote marine areas.
“When we were about to reach the bottom, I expected to see scary things crawling through the windows,” the scientist told Channel News Asia, but was surprised. “The only unusual thing was the garbage. There was a lot of garbage in the trench. There were a lot of plastics, a pair of pants, a shirt, a teddy bear, packaging and a lot of plastic bags. Even I did not expect that, and I do research on plastics, “he said.
In the company of the American explorer Víctor Vescovo, from Caladan Oceanic, a private organization dedicated to underwater technology, he explored the area for 12 hours last March, taking advantage of the fact that the new technology allows reaching depths unsuspected 50 years ago. Onda narrated that at one point his expedition approached a white body floating in the deep thinking it was a jellyfish, but in reality it was plastic..
“Witnessing the extent of pollution and witnessing the severity of the plastics problem from the surface to the bottom of the ocean is something else. It is my responsibility to tell people that their garbage does not stay where they put it. It goes somewhere else and it will sink”Expressed Onda.
The scientist warns that plastic pollution in the oceans will have profound consequences, but that we still do not know, in marine ecosystems, which are the foundations of terrestrial life. It is also a factor in global warming.
“We don’t really know the extent of biodiversity in these deep-sea environments. We do not yet know the full scope of their functions in terms of biogeochemical processes, how they regulate weather and climate. But we are already changing it. I don’t see it stopping anytime soon, ”he said.