Brazilian researchers discover “terrifying” plastic rocks on a distant island

(Reuters) – The geology of the Brazilian volcanic island of Trinidad has fascinated scientists for years, however the discovery of rocks made from plastic particles on this distant turtle sanctuary is inflicting concern.

Melted plastic blended with rocks on the island, situated 1,140 kilometers from the southeastern state of Espírito Santo, which researchers say is proof of people’ rising affect on Earth’s geological cycles.

“That is new and terrifying on the similar time, as a result of air pollution has reached geology,” mentioned Fernanda Avelar Santos, a geologist on the Federal College of Paraná.

Santos and his crew carried out chemical checks to see what sort of plastic was within the rocks, that are known as “plastic conglomerates” as a result of they include a combination of sedimentary grains and different particles held collectively by plastic.

“We’ve decided that (air pollution) comes primarily from fishing nets, that are quite common particles on Trinidad island seashores,” Santos mentioned. “The nets are dragged alongside by ocean currents and piled up on the seaside. When the temperature rises, this plastic melts and turns into a part of the pure materials on the seaside.”

The molten plastic grew to become blended with the rocks of the island. (Credit score: Rodolfo Bohrer/Reuters)

Trinidad Island is among the most vital locations on the planet for inexperienced turtle conservation. Chelonia Midas, the place 1000’s of specimens arrive annually to spawn. The one human inhabitants on Trinidad are members of the Brazilian Navy, which maintains a base on the island and protects nesting turtles.

“The place the place we discovered these (plastic) samples is a completely preserved space in Brazil, close to the place inexperienced turtles breed,” Santos explains.

Santos says the invention raises questions in regards to the legacy of people on Earth.

“We discuss so much in regards to the Anthropocene, and that is the second,” Santos mentioned, referring to a geological period outlined by human influence on the planet’s geology and ecosystems.

“Air pollution and trash within the sea and plastic improperly dumped within the oceans have develop into geological materials…preserved in Earth’s geological information.”