New Delhi: Geologists at the Federal University of Parana, Brazil were left stunned after they discovered a new type of rock created by melted plastic trash on Brazil’s volcanic Trindade Island. Researchers are calling the discovery evidence of humans’ growing influence over the earth’s geological cycles. “This is new and terrifying at the same time because pollution has reached geology,” Reuters quoted Fernanda Avelar Santos, a geologist at the Federal University of Parana.
‘Plastiglomerates’ evidence of humans’ growing influence over earth’s geological cycles
Melted plastic amalgamated with rocks on the island, located 1,140 km (708 miles) from the southeastern state of Espirito Santo, researchers have called it evidence of humans’ growing influence over the earth’s geological cycles. The chemical test was carried out by Santos and her team to find out what plastics are in the rocks called “plastiglomerates”. They are made of a mixture of sedimentary granules and other debris held together by plastic.
“The place where we found these samples (of plastic) is a permanently preserved area in Brazil, near the place green turtles lay their eggs,” Santos said, adding that the discovery stirs questions about humans’ legacy on the earth.
“We talk so much about the Anthropocene, and this is it,” Santos stated, referring to a proposed geological epoch defined by humans’ impact on the planet’s geology and ecosystems. “The pollution, the garbage in the sea and the plastic dumped incorrectly in the oceans is becoming geological material … preserved in the earth’s geological records.”
Fishing Nets Main Source of Pollution
Researchers stated 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, Reuters reported, quoting sources.