Pack up your swimsuits and snorkels, folks, because we've ruined the ocean. A series of shocking photos showing a tide of plastic and styrofoam waste in the middle of the Caribbean Sea has been making the rounds of the web for the past couple of weeks.
Taken off the coast of Honduras by photographer Caroline Power, the images show the terrifying extent to which we have damaged the world's waters. From plastic bottles to cutlery to shopping bags and styrofoam cups, all kinds of trash are seen floating in one enormous mass of human waste.
Stretching over several miles between the idyllic islands of Roatan and Cayos Cochinos, the tide of plastic is currently hanging around 15 miles off the coast.
A specialist in underwater photography, Power is keen to expose just how bad the damage to our oceans and seas is. The day the photographs were taken, she had set off to go diving at what was meant to be "one of the most pristine dive sites in this part of the Caribbean."
What she found upon her arrival, however, was far from that. As she explained to the Telegraph:
"To see an area that is supposed to be pristine covered in garbage and trash was disheartening [...]
There was a seemingly infinite number of plastic forks, spoons, drink bottles, and plates. There were broken soccer balls, toothbrushes, a tv, and so many shoes and flip flops."
She then describes having to trawl through "nearly five miles" of garbage to reach clear waters again.
Ocean protection agency Blue Planet has come forward with a statement about the shocking images, which it thinks show waste from Guatemala's Motagua River that has been pushed into the sea by strong rains. As Power writes on her Facebook page:
"If even 1% of the people that see this video take steps to reduce their single use plastic and Styrofoam consumption, it is still a big step forward."
Specialists estimate that our oceans contain around 51 trillion micro-plastic particles, meaning around 500 times the amount of stars in our galaxy. Find out what you can do to reduce ocean plastic waste right here.