Deep Blue Bottle Caps

Bottle caps seem to be the only

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Bottle caps seem to be the only "species" thriving in the deep blue.

Grace Faulhaber, Co-Editor-in-Chief

If you have eyes, you can tell that our oceans are full of trash—a very common and lively species that has inhabited the oceans of our planet worldwide. These organisms have expanded into its own genus, family, and order within a rather short period of time.

According to marine biologist Shelly Shellington, “Since the breakthrough of plastic—a genus within the trash kingdom— in the 1960s the prevalence of these creatures in our oceans has steadily increased; 60-80% of these species consists of this subset, and it is only expected to grow.” While it may seem like an exciting discovery, these vicious creatures follow the simple cycle of kill and reproduce—a devastating combo.  

Based on a recent study published in National Geographic, nearly 5.25 trillion of these plasticky particles float in our oceans. If you walk along the beach during any season, these specimens are more than apparent and not in a good way. Many beach-goers and shoreline inhabitants have shared their concern with the physical appearance of this particular species. Harmony Malibula, a 20-year resident of the California coast, expressed her anger in regards to its presence. She said, “Every morning I used to ride the gnarly waves of the deep blue when I was a little prodigy. Now, all I see are the ugly bottle caps and plastic that chew up my board.”

The number of singular organisms that fill the oceans is not the only problem. This new species has intense strength and suffocating capabilities that could easily defeat the biggest, toughest creatures in the ocean. Arnold Flora, an amateur ocean watcher, describes the daily encounters he has with the species: “These murderers that love to float on the surface make it very difficult to track the big beluga whales with my brand new binoculars.”

Although the predators may not look harmful on the outside, to capture their prey they use an effective tactic known as the “toxic trick.” They disguise themselves as food, and end up in their prey’s intestines, therefore blocking the unwitting victims’ organs from performing essential functions. Once the innocent species is dead, the plastic simply moves on to the next organism. This cycle has resulted in nearly one million deaths of marine mammals annually, and as the amount of trash increases, so will the death toll.

Not only are they reproductive machines, but their lifespan is never ending. If you didn’t think it was possible for a species to possess immortality, research from Sky Skylark, head of the trashology department at the National Organization and Atmospheric Administration, may catch you by surprise. Skylark claims that, “These organisms have an immortal existence which is an utter nightmare for every organism that coexists with the trash species and the many kingdoms that add to this epidemic.”

If this trend skyrockets as it is projected, our oceans may only be filled with trash and no longer the beauty of colorful fish, gigantic whales, and fearless sharks that once ruled the deep blue.

Make proper decisions when it comes to trash. Choose paper over plastic, and definitely ditch the straws.

Photo Credit: www.eyesaflame.blogspot.com