Veterinarians in the Philippines found a dead whale with so much plastic in its stomach that upon first inspection, they thought it was pregnant.
Unfortunately, a large chunk of the human race has a mentality in which if we can't see a problem then we don't tend to worry about it. The cliche "out of sight, out of mind" is actually one that rings true for many people. However, when it comes to our gross overuse of plastic, it has quickly become a problem that we simply can't ignore.
The biggest way in which our plastic use is damaging the planet is the dumping of it in our oceans. Again, fish and other sea creatures ingesting and choking on plastic is something we don't tend to see with our own eyes so we don't tend to worry. However, what if you could see it? How about in the form of a whale with 90 pounds of plastic waste in its stomach?
That's sadly what Darell Blatchley came across in the Philippines recently, reports CBC. When a group of veterinarians discovered a dead whale, it's stomach was so bloated that on first inspection, they believed it to be pregnant. However, upon closer examination, it turned out that the whale was not female, and that mass in its abdomen was from the massive amounts of plastic it had ingested.
While performing a necropsy on the whale, Blatchley explained how his hand hit hard debris. Since the whale's diet would have consisted mostly of squid and fish, he knew something wasn't right. Blatchley then describes how he pulled a grocery bag from the whale's stomach, and then another, and then another. As stated above, the total amount inside the poor creature came to a staggering 40 kilos, so a little less than 90 pounds.
Blatchley explained that due to plastic being in the whale's stomach, it's body would have produced more stomach acid in an attempt to digest it. In turn, that would have caused the acid to start eating away at the lining of the stomach to the point where it would have become punctured. Sadly, it would have meant a slow and painful death for the whale. A sad ending to an incredibly sad story, and one that we as a race need to try and prevent from happening as often as it does at present.