When marine ecologist Ignacio Gestoso discovered strange bluish rock formations on the coast of Madeira three years ago, he thought it was a unique new phenomenon. In part, this turned out to be the case, since nothing similar was found anywhere else in the region. But the coverage area in Madeira itself is increasing at a colossal rate - now this strange crust already covers 10% of the coastal rocks.
We are talking about a new type of environmental pollution - the rock crust is made of plastic. In the samples taken, scientists found a huge concentration of polyethylene and a small part of impurities. At its core, it is a former plastic that covers the rocks with an uneven but very strong crust.
This plastic is not like the one that floats in the ocean, although Gestoso does not doubt the same nature of their origin. The scientist cannot yet formulate how exactly the garbage turns into a crust, there is not enough observation data. Probably, the plastic pushes into the cracks in the stones, where it gets stuck, and the waves slowly grind the outer side until there are no large protruding fragments.
Most of all, the plastic crust resembles exotic algae and it is adjacent to real algae and lichens. Now scientists are wondering if it will enter the diet of marine life, just like birds swallow various plastic garbage? If so, then a serious new threat looms over the flora and fauna of the coastal regions.