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It has been said that a picture paints a thousand words. As Green Monsters, we seek to articulate our passion for animals, the environment, and the necessity of protecting the natural world as best we can, but every now and then a single image comes along that renders words unnecessary.

This happened recently when Kerstin Langenberger Photography released a picture of an emaciated polar bear, which stunned many of its viewers into silence and made them realize just how vital it is to continue speaking up on behalf of our planet. We were also reminded of photography’s ability to cut right to heart of complex issues when a shocking image comparing the size of SeaWorld San Diego’s parking lot and orca tank began to circulate through social media last month. And now, an equally powerful image has come to our attention again.

In this picture, uploaded by Reddit user HSmidt, we see the reality of what plastic pollution does to wild animals.

This Single Photo of a Hermit Crab Illustrates the Sad Reality of Plastic Pollution

 

The hermit crab pictured has resorted to using a toothpaste cap as a shell. In one sense, this can be regarded as a sign of the crab’s ingenuity, as he or she seeks to make the best of a dire situation … but the fact that the tiny animal’s chosen home is a piece of human-produced plastic – the very substance that is killing so many marine and land animals all over the globe, and leading to a terrifying build-up of waste that may take up to 1,000 years to decompose – cannot help but strike sadness into a Green Monster’s heart.

The facts behind plastic pollution are shocking to behold. In the last ten years, we have produced more of this material than was made in the entire previous century. Shoppers worldwide use around 500 billion single-use plastic bags per year – meaning that these bags are used just once before being discarded. Much of this waste is destined to end up in the ocean, where it now threatens 700 marine species with extinction.

The scariest fact of all? 270,000 tons of plastic are currently estimated to be floating in our oceans: the equivalent of 135,000 cars, 130,000 mid-sized boats, or 1,125 freight trains. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the Pacific Ocean is growing by the year, with truly frightening implications for marine and human life.

While all these statistics are shocking, it is important to remember the role that each one can play to reduce the excess of plastic every single day. We, after all, have a choice to use disposable plastics on a daily basis or to opt for a reusable, sustainable alternative. For more information on how you can reduce your dependency on plastic, and help save animals like the hermit crab above, check out these articles:

Image source: HSmidt/Imgur



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10 comments on “Photo of a Hermit Crab Illustrates the Sad Reality of How Our Plastic Pollution Impacts Animals”

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Robyn Bell
17 Days ago

We are lucky in the Whitsundays aus to have Libby Edge of ecobarge that is right onto all this!


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Carina Wever
17 Days ago

there is also a shortage of shells for the crabs when they upsize from one home to the other - therefore they are forced to use an alternative. What happens to all the shells?


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Barbara Luise
17 Days ago

When I go shopping & buy fresh fish at the grocery store, I take my own tupperware with me; unfortunately, the people at the store refuse to use my clean tupperware containers and instead place the fish in large plastic bags...they tell me that they are not allowed to use my own containers...how crazy is that???? It's so hard to avoid plastic these days...whenever I can, I buy bulk, like flower, rice, etc. and use my own containers for that. I'm glad that at least some stores in VT let you bring your own containers. I also buy fresh food & don't use the plastic bags that are offered in stores....It may be only a small contribution on my part - but it's better than nothing.


Reply
Cheryl Armstrong
22 Nov 2016

Right. Thk you!!

Nisa Mars Counter
17 Days ago

his makes me ill.


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Genesis Salguero
17 Days ago

Daisy Beltran Poor little guy


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Daisy Beltran
21 Nov 2016

Oh noooo not hermy

Genesis Salguero
21 Nov 2016

I know ahh

Jason Best
17 Days ago

Isn't that his shell though? They adapt


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Dolores Amidon Anderson
17 Days ago

RECYCLE AND REUSE OR DON'T USE AT ALL!!!!!


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Tricia Lanette
17 Days ago

Aidé Rodríguez


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Aidé Rodríguez
21 Nov 2016

I am gonna help save them 🐚🐚🐚

Judith Medici
17 Days ago

Sad; stores need to stop using plastic bags and go back to paper bags and we need to bring our own reusable bags with us!


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Alice Lynne McCain
17 Days ago

Oh great Scot can we ever stop littering.


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