Extraordinary Levels of Pollution Found in the Deepest Part of the Sea
Since the Mariana Trench is the deepest part of the ocean, you might guess that it is safe from the impact of humans, but you would be wrong. Scientists have found that, despite its depth and remoteness, the deep sea contains levels of toxins that match some of the most polluted marine systems on earth.
According to a new study just published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, man-made pollutants have reached the depths of two of the world’s deepest ocean trenches – the Mariana Trench in the North Pacific and the Kermadec Trench in the South Pacific, which are each miles deep and are separated by thousands of miles.
For the study, researchers from Newcastle University, the University of Aberdeen and the James Hutton Institute sent deep-sea landers to collect samples of small organisms living in the deepest level of the trenches and found troubling levels of toxic pollutants in small crustaceans, or amphipods.
The level found wasn’t the only concern. The types of toxins they found are considered persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that are known for staying in the environment for a long time. In this case, the two most prevalent ones were Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs).
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