MAR 18, 2019 11:54 AM PDT

Deceased Whale in Philippines Had 88 Pounds of Plastic in its Stomach

It’s an unfortunate reality that the Earth’s vast oceans are littered with human-made trash and debris, much of which is comprised of plastic. Many plastics resist the elements and don’t biodegrade as quickly as other, more environmentally-friendly materials would. Consequently, plastic pollution damages the marine environment and threatens the multitude of animals that inhabit it.

If you don’t believe us, then just ask the opinion of a deceased Cuvier’s beaked whale that washed up this week in the Philippines. You’d be hard-pressed to get an answer out of the lifeless 1,100-pound animal, but a necropsy that transpired after the carcass was recovered provided all sorts of clues into the animal’s untimely demise; the findings were tear-jerking.

Piles of plastic sit beside a deceased whale following a necropsy.

Image Credit: D' Bone Collector Museum/Facebook

Upon getting a closer look at the deceased whale’s stomach contents, scientists purportedly happened upon more than 88 pounds’ worth of plastic junk hiding inside. More specifically, they discovered 16 rice sacks, four banana plantation-style bags, and heaps of standard plastic shopping bags. A more detailed breakdown of what was discovered is expected to surface shortly.

In a statement shared to Facebook over the weekend by the D’ Bone Collector Museum, we learn that this was the largest allotment of plastic that the scientists had ever found in a dead whale. Perhaps more alarmingly, some of that plastic was heavily-compacted into dense collections, signifying that it had been lingering inside the whale for quite some time.

Note: The video below is graphic. Viewer discretion is advised:

This isn’t the first time that whales have washed up dead with plastic in their bellies, and it won’t be the last. Several whale carcasses with plastic-filled stomachs were recovered just last year alone, and whales aren’t the only marine animals battling with unintentional plastic ingestion – so too are sea turtles and birds, among many others.

Related: Many sea birds mistake bits of plastic for food

Despite how unforgiving plastic bags and other items of similar construction are for the environment, they continue to be manufactured in full-swing and are widely used around the globe for a variety of purposes. Retail outlets are perhaps one of the most prevalent uses of plastic bags, but where they end up after leaving the storefront is entirely our responsibility.

Sadly, it seems like this is only the beginning of plastic-related tragedies, and it may never stop until standard plastic bags are replaced with something more environmentally friendly and every ounce of plastic is removed from the world’s oceans. Regardless, these are two feats that will be challenging to accomplish.

Source: D’ Bone Collector Museum (Facebook), BBC, New York Times

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
NOV 21, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 21, 2019
Santa Barbara Zoo Euthanizes Elephant Over Health Concerns
Staff at Santa Barbara Zoo were compelled to make a difficult decision this week after the park’s elderly Asian elephant became incurably ill with no...
NOV 21, 2019
Microbiology
NOV 21, 2019
Drug-Resistant Microbes Found in Many Raw Pet Foods
Raw dog food is marketed as a diet that mimics the food of dog's ancestors. But it may pose a serious risk to both pets and their human companions....
NOV 21, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 21, 2019
What Makes Cheetahs Such Adept Predators?
The humble cheetah has earned its reputation as the world’s fastest land animal. This large cat is capable of accelerating to speeds of up to 60 mile...
NOV 21, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 21, 2019
Everything You Didn't Know About Hyenas
The humble hyena is often depicted as dim-witted, but as the scientific facts would show, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Despite the negati...
NOV 21, 2019
Earth & The Environment
NOV 21, 2019
Fungi, wheat, and climate change
New research suggests harnessing fungi to help improve agricultural efficiency for cereal crops, saying fungi can improve nutrient uptake and reduce the ne...
NOV 21, 2019
Genetics & Genomics
NOV 21, 2019
Even Different Species of Butterflies Can Easily Share Genes
After assessing the genomes of twenty species of butterflies, scientists were surprised to find that genes flow easily between them....
Loading Comments...