These grisly images were taken by photographer Chris Jordan on a remote cluster of islands called Midway Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. As its name suggests, Midway Atoll is roughly midway between North America and Asia, more than 2000 miles from the nearest continental land. The waste of our mass consumption surfaces in an astonishing place on these islands, inside the stomachs of thousands of dead baby albatrosses. The nesting chicks are fed lethal quantities of plastic by their parents, who mistake the floating trash for food as they forage over the vast polluted Pacific Ocean.
The birds get the plastic trash from the ocean, which gathers in massive gyres, such as the famous Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
These floating garbage patches are made up of exceptionally high concentrations of pelagic plastics, chemical sludge and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the Pacific.
These photos make it a bit easier to visualize the mass of trash swirling in the Northern Pacific, estimated to be twice the size of Texas.
In creating these images, Photographer Chris Jordan explains that he did not move a single piece of plastic.
Photos of the dead chicks document the actual stomach contents of these birds living in one of the world’s most remote marine sanctuaries.
Under normal circumstances an Albatross will typically live 50 years or more.
Sadly our plastic consumption habits are killing these majestic sea birds.
A heart-wrenching tale of the damage we sometimes unintentionally do to nature. One of the many reasons why recycling is so important. For more photographs taken on Midway Atoll by Chris Jordan visit ChrisJordan.com here.
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