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Pinoy scientist mistakes plastic trash in Emden Deep for jellyfish


Filipino scientist Dr. Deo Florence Onda thought he saw a jelly fish during his historic trip to the Emden Deep, the third deepest part on Earth.

Upon closer inspection, he was taken aback to see that it was actually a piece of plastic, which survived despite the immense pressure in the depths of the sea.

In Oscar Oida's report for "24 Oras," the microbial oceanographer said plastics should hypothetically be broken down by the harsh environment underwater.

"That's one thing that really shocked me," he said in Filipino. "The plastics we saw aren't broken down. Meaning, that's how resistant and durable they are."

"These are still human remains [and] contaminations so the imprints of humans actually went to the Emden Deep before us," he added.

Dr. Onda said this is as an eye-opener for everyone to be mindful about their plastic usage.

"We can't change our ways overnight but slowly minimizing the usage and being conscious of the things we use, it will help," he said.

He also called on not just consumers, but also producers and the government, to come up with ways to help the environment.

"[Let's] make policies to lessen the usage and to find alternative materials for plastic," he said.

Dr. Onda is the first Filipino to reach Emden Deep, located 34,100 feet below sea level, in March.

In May 2019, trash were also found in Mariana Trench, the deepest place on Earth.

—Franchesca Viernes/MGP, GMA News

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