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By Kelly Kasulis
15 September 2017

(Mic) – The world’s oceans are going to have more plastic in them than fish by 2050, according to World Economic Forum projections. But we don’t need to wait for the future to witness grim scenes of polluted waters.

Just look at the photo below. Photographer Justin Hofman caught a tiny sea horse latched onto a cotton swab along the coast of Sumbawa Island in Indonesia, one of one of the most biodiverse nations in the world.

“After 10 minutes, the tide started to turn and all this junk started to flow through,” the 33-year-old said in a phone call from Monterey, California. “It first grasped onto a piece of sea grass, then there was a little wispy piece of plastic that it grabbed onto, and the next thing it was this Q-tip. It was this weird progression of going from natural to unnatural in this short span.”

Hofman said that he was “surprised at how good the coral” in the area was, but the waters were otherwise heavily polluted. The white blurry spots in the photo’s background are actually bits of plastic drifting around, and the water started to stink as sewage came through (which he thinks made him sick the next day). […]

“I was just in the Arctic a couple weeks ago and we watched a polar bear dig through trash and eat plastic. It was pretty heartbreaking stuff,” he said. “I’ve seen dynamite fishing, shark fishing, starving polar bears, whales caught in nets … a lot of depressing shit.

“I do truly feel like I carry this weight sometimes,” he added. [more]

Justin Hofman’s viral sea horse photo shows the heartbreaking state of our polluted water

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