‘Scary’ plastic rocks discovered on distant Brazilian island

The geology of Brazil’s volcanic Trindade Island has fascinated scientists for years, however the discovery of rocks constructed from plastic waste on this distant turtle sanctuary is inflicting alarm.

Molten plastic has intertwined with rocks on the island, which is 1,140 km (708 miles) from the southeastern state of Espirito Santo, which researchers say is proof of the rising human affect on the Earth’s geological cycles.

“That is each new and terrifying as a result of the air pollution has reached the geology,” stated Fernanda Avelar Santos, a geologist on the Federal College of Parana.

Researchers on the Federal College of Parana discovered plastic fishing nets had melted onto rocks, Reuters

Santos and her group carried out chemical assessments to seek out out what sort of plastics are within the rocks, known as “plastiglomerates” as a result of they’re fabricated from a mix of grains of sediment and different particles held collectively by plastic.

Researcher Fernanda Avelar Santos appears by means of a microscope alongside her colleague Giovana Diorio on the Federal College of Parana. Reuters

“We recognized ourselves [the pollution] comes primarily from fishing nets, which is quite common on Trinidade Island seashores,” stated Santos. “The [nets] are carried away by the ocean currents and accumulate on the seaside. Because the temperature rises, this plastic melts and turns into embedded with the pure materials of the seaside.” Trindade Island is likely one of the world’s most essential sanctuaries for inexperienced sea turtles, or Chelonia mydas, with 1000’s coming right here yearly to put their eggs. The one human residents on Trindade are members of the Brazilian Navy, which maintains a base on the island and protects the nesting turtles.


“The place the place we discovered these samples [of plastic] is a completely conserved space in Brazil, close to the place inexperienced turtles lay their eggs,” stated Santos.

Plastic discovered on rocks studied on the Federal College of Parana in Brazil. Reuters

The invention raises questions in regards to the heritage of people on Earth, Santos says.

“We speak a lot in regards to the Anthropocene, and that is it,” Santos stated, referring to a proposed geological epoch outlined by human influence on the planet’s geology and ecosystems.

“The air pollution, the rubbish within the sea, and the plastic that’s improperly dumped into the oceans have gotten geological materials… preserved within the Earth’s geological file.”