Excruciating Sea Turtle Operation Video Shows Where our Plastic Waste Ends Up

posted: 08/15/15
by: Danny Clemens
Olive ridley sea turtle

They say that nothing lasts forever, but plastic comes close: scientists estimate that it can take up to 1,000 years for certain types of plastic waste to decompose in the environment.

A millennium is a long time -- what happens to discarded plastic as it slowly decomposes in nature? A group of wildlife researchers found out the hard way when they discovered an endangered Olive ridley sea turtle with a foreign object lodged in its nose. The team originally believed that the turtle was carrying a parasitic worm, but quickly realized that the poor creature had a five-inch plastic drinking straw lodged in its nostril.

Using a pair of pliers, the researchers extracted the plastic debris from the animal. The resulting eight minute video is harrowing, to say the least. Due to the video's graphic nature and strong language, we chose not to embed it in our post -- click here to watch it on YouTube.

Let this video serve as a reminder: dispose of your plastic responsibly. Or, better yet, choose a more biodegradable alternative.

Learn more about turtles:

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Sea Turtles Face Climate Change

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