Science

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is packed with floating life

Beautiful floating organisms called neuston are gathered up by the same ocean currents as plastic pollution, and they may be endangered by clean-up efforts

Environment



16 May 2022

New Scientist Default Image

A blue button jellyfish

Denis Riek

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is teeming with delicate organisms called neuston that appear to be swept up by the same ocean currents as plastic pollution. The finding suggests that efforts to trap and remove plastic from this area could accidentally remove these creatures as well.

Neuston are organisms that float on the ocean surface. They encompass a wide range of species, including blue sea dragons (Glaucus atlanticus), violet snails (Janthina janthina), blue button jellyfish (Porpita porpita) and by-the-wind sailors (Velella velella).

Despite their beauty, neuston …


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