Brazilian researchers find ‘terrifying’ plastic rocks on remote island

Brazilian researchers find ‘terrifying’ plastic rocks on remote island

Why in news :

  • The geology of Brazil’s volcanic Trindade Island has fascinated scientists for years, but the discovery of rocks made from plastic debris in this remote turtle refuge is sparking alarm.

More about the news :

  • Melted plastic has become intertwined with rocks on the island, located 1,140 km from the southeastern state of Espirito Santo, which researchers say is evidence of humans’ growing influence over the earth’s geological cycles.
  • The researchers run chemical tests to find out what kind of plastics are in the rocks called “plastiglomerates” because they are made of a mixture of sedimentary granules and other debris held together by plastic.

  • The researchers said that the pollution mainly comes from fishing nets, which is very common debris on Trinidade Island’s beaches.
  • The nets are dragged by the marine currents and accumulate on the beach.
  • When the temperature rises, this plastic melts and becomes embedded with the beach’s natural material.
  • Island is one of the world’s most important conservation spots for green turtles, or Chelonia mydas, with thousands arriving each year to lay their eggs.
  • The only human inhabitants on Trindade are members of the Brazilian navy, which maintains a base on the island and protects the nesting turtles.
  • The place where these samples are found (of plastic) is a permanently preserved area in Brazil, near the place green turtles lay their eggs.

Syllabus : Prelims; Environment