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You Won't Believe What Washed Up on This Tiny Island

05-16-2017
hendersonisland

When researchers traveled to a small island in the middle of the Pacific ocean they didn't find people, but 38 million pieces of trash instead. 

No one is sure how Henderson Island became a massive trash dump for plastic toys, toothbrushes, and anything you can think of. All of it was washed ashore from the ocean. 

Researchers say the density of trash is the highest recorded anywhere in the world. 

The plastic trash weighs a whopping 17.6 tons. 

Jennifer Lavers, a research scientist at the University of Tasmania in Australia, sees the trash island as both awe-inspiring and alarming. 

"The quantity of plastic there is truly alarming," Lavers told The Associated Press. "It's both beautiful and terrifying."

Some of the native species have made the plastic their home. Crabs burrow their way into cosmetic containers and anything big enough to hold them. Other animals aren't so lucky. One sea turtle died after getting stuck in an abandoned fishing net. 

Lavers says the island should remind people to be cautious about how they dispose of trash. 

"We need to drastically rethink our relationship with plastic," she said. "It's something that's designed to last forever, but is often only used for a few fleeting moments and then tossed away."

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