Skip to content
The Plastic Albatross

The Plastic Albatross

The image above depicts the body of an albatross that was found on Midway Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. 

An Albatross is a good omen, so long as you don’t shoot one with a crossbow, as one unfortunate mariner chose to do in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s 1798 poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” In Coleridge’s poem, the good omen becomes a curse, and the south wind leads the mariner’s ship to the duldrums where for days and days the crew is stuck, “As idle as a painted ship/ Upon a painted ocean.”


Instead of succumbing to a shot from a crossbow, the albatross in the image above was killed by consuming plastic, which its body is unable to process. The bird was found on Midway Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, a critical habitat for seabirds. 

Smarter faster: the Big Think newsletter
Subscribe for counterintuitive, surprising, and impactful stories delivered to your inbox every Thursday

Read more here.


Related

Up Next