I read this today in my Eco Geek Newsletter from EcoGeek.org and just had to share – microbes living off of plastic? Freaky. Also note that the they now refer to the great Pacific Gyre as a “garbage patch” which is much more straightforward than a Gyre which I’d imagine most people would need to look up. For the full story go here, below is the sum up.
From the Great Pacific garbage patch to more disperse bits of trash, immense amounts of plastic and other garbage continue to amass in the ocean. However, some of that plastic pollution is harboring life. Scientists have discovered colonies of microbes thriving on tiny fragments of plastic floating in the open ocean. The team of scientists studying these new ocean habitats–called the “plastisphere”–collected marine plastic debris using fine-scale nets at locations in the North Atlantic Ocean. They discovered at least 1000 kinds of bacterial cells, forming a variety of complex microscopic communities.