Which includes, yes, the “most remote place on the planet.” The caption on this picture, as reproduced in the Guardian: “A container of Spam rests at 4,947 meters on the slopes of a canyon leading to the Sirena Deep in the Mariana trench. Photograph: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration.” Three miles down! Is this unusual? Not in the slightest:
Small crustaceans that live in the pitch-black waters of the trench, captured by a robotic submarine, were contaminated with 50 times more toxic chemicals than crabs that survive in heavily polluted rivers in China.
Not a good sign. Remember PCBs? They’ve never truly gone away:
PCBs were manufactured from the 1930s to the 1970s, when their appalling impact on people and wildlife was realised. About a third of the 1.3m tonnes produced has already leaked into coastal sediments and the open oceans, with a steady stream still thought to be coming from poorly protected landfill sites.
And “landfill” may explain the artifact pictured above:
An expedition conducted by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration last year also found various manmade items on the slopes leading to the Sirena Deep, part of the Mariana trench, and the nearby Enigma Seamount. They included a tin of Spam, a can of Budweiser beer and several plastic bags.
The appalling impact of Budweiser beer has long been established.
(Via Holly Brockwell.)