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Geology: Rocks Made Of Plastic Found on Hawaiian Beach

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posted on Mar, 13 2016 @ 09:55 AM
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Corcoran and her team canvassed Kamilo Beach on the Big Island for more of the rocks and found plastiglomerate in all 21 sites they surveyed. She says people have already found plastiglomerate on another Hawaiian island, and she expects there to be much more on coastlines across the world. Plastiglomerate is likely well distributed, it’s just never been noticed before now, she says.




www.geologyin.com...

For geologist's this is a pretty exciting new thing to track.
It's going to add a new layer to the geological record. For people who don't rockhound and have no knowledge of ALL the fake/alterd/radiated/treated materials out there this is going to also add to more disappointed amateur collectors.



The discovery adds to the debate about whether humanity’s heavy hand in natural processes warrants the formal declaration of a new epoch of Earth history, the Anthropocene, says paleontologist Jan Zalasiewicz of the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, who was not involved in the study. Plastics in general are so pervasive that they’ve been documented in a number of surprising places, including ingested in wildlife and on the sea floor.
The mass of plastic produced since 1950 is close to 6 billion metric tons, enough to bundle the entire planet in plastic wrap. Combine plastic’s abundance with its persistence in the environment, and there’s a good chance it’ll get into the fossil record, Zalasiewicz says. “Plastics, including plastiglomerates, would be one of the key markers by which people could recognize the beginning of the Anthropocene.”









posted on Mar, 13 2016 @ 10:03 AM
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Interesting....makes me wonder if the absence of plastiglomerates in our current knowledge of the geologic record indicate the absence of former "advanced" civilizations.




posted on Mar, 13 2016 @ 10:33 AM
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a reply to: Caver78

I decided that I should read up on this a bit, since I had some awareness of how long it takes rock to form out of sedimentary materials.
What I found was the the rare form, in situ, pictured in the OP, is formed when plastic melts in a campfire and it adheres to the basalt.
The other variety of plastiglomerate, clastic, is described as a 'loose, rocky formation'.... basically a mixture of beach sand, seashells and pieces of plastic trash, not a rock, in my opinion, but a case of litter on what is described in my link as 'the world's dirtiest beach'.
livescience
edit on b000000312016-03-13T10:56:46-05:0010America/ChicagoSun, 13 Mar 2016 10:56:46 -05001000000016 by butcherguy because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 13 2016 @ 11:05 AM
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Pa reply to: Caver78

So basically any one who has thrown a coke bottle into a campfire has created one of these new "rocks". I get that lava flows, random fires, etc. that bump into just about anything man made would add to the record. The only thing I don't get is why now does it deserve a name? People have long been learning about our ancestors by digging through their trash and even longer have been throwing trash in fires. Nothing new there.

Plastics on the other hand are a pretty new discovery. I just don't agree these "rocks are forming" as a statement. Maybe being formed but it is not a natural process where plastics on the sea bed are just collecting themselves together into stone. That does though lead to the conclusion that, if Earth continues the same process of burying the surface beneath tons and tons of material our future archeologist who stumble across an old camp ground or city dump they will learn how we killed ourselves by consumption and waste. I'm sure a ton will be learned from a burnt out trailer park, that is almost all plastic. They will probably be confused by all of the pit stained wife beater tank top t-shirts, and meth pipes. They will be able to learn so much about our culture from the type and colors of plastics concentrated

Being that matter cannot be created or destroyed only transformed it is ALL still here just in another form does that kind of wipe out the idea of waste?



posted on Mar, 13 2016 @ 11:55 AM
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George Carlin was right! Humans were put on earth to create plastic! The Earth + Plastic




posted on Mar, 13 2016 @ 12:18 PM
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a reply to: wastedown

Not nitpicking but if the geologists have used the word "forming" I'm OK with it. They are talking about these forming from a natural process of glomming together, so while NOT like more long term geologic processes it can still be considered "natural", like concretions/conglomerates form, not like diamonds form.

and yeah, after we;re long gone our trash will be studied, just like we study Middens.

Whoops! turns out there are two ways for these to form (thanks butcherguy!!!) so some are natural, some manmade.












edit on 13-3-2016 by Caver78 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 13 2016 @ 12:22 PM
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originally posted by: Signals
Interesting....makes me wonder if the absence of plastiglomerates in our current knowledge of the geologic record indicate the absence of former "advanced" civilizations.



Possibly previous civilizations weren't petrochemical based, so no plastics?
Or we haven't dug deep enough, in the right places to find evidence?

Super Cool Question!!!



posted on Mar, 13 2016 @ 12:23 PM
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originally posted by: Signals
Interesting....makes me wonder if the absence of plastiglomerates in our current knowledge of the geologic record indicate the absence of former "advanced" civilizations.



What I was thinking.



posted on Mar, 13 2016 @ 12:26 PM
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Reminds me of Fordite aka Detroit Agate

Also the glass slag that's been found around in areas of glass factories. This strata of the Earth is going to look interesting in a few thousand years.



posted on Mar, 13 2016 @ 12:46 PM
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There wont be any Archaeologists to dig the # up by then....the great die off will have disappeared us ....



posted on Mar, 13 2016 @ 12:58 PM
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a reply to: Caver78

It is all fodder for the fire.



posted on Mar, 13 2016 @ 02:21 PM
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originally posted by: Thalestris
Reminds me of Fordite aka Detroit Agate

Also the glass slag that's been found around in areas of glass factories. This strata of the Earth is going to look interesting in a few thousand years.



Raw Fordite for those who haven't seen it



posted on Mar, 13 2016 @ 03:21 PM
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originally posted by: Signals
Interesting....makes me wonder if the absence of plastiglomerates in our current knowledge of the geologic record indicate the absence of former "advanced" civilizations.



Not really - an advanced civilization does not need plastic to be advanced. We had electricity, radio and TV available before the 1950's.

All plastoglomerates prove is what pigs we are as humans and how much mess we are making of this (once) beautiful planet



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