Wednesday, October 28, 2009


And completely heartbreaking.

What are you looking at in that picture? You're looking at the remains of a baby albatross, which starved because it was fed plastic which its parents had picked up from the ocean thinking it was food. From the site:
These photographs of albatross chicks were made just a few weeks ago on Midway Atoll, a tiny stretch of sand and coral near the middle of the North Pacific. The nesting babies are fed bellies-full of plastic by their parents, who soar out over the vast polluted ocean collecting what looks to them like food to bring back to their young. On this diet of human trash, every year tens of thousands of albatross chicks die on Midway from starvation, toxicity, and choking.
Pathetic. We are starving these birds through our own actions, and we'll wind up being the poorer for it. If things like this don't make you think long and hard about how we treat this planet ... I don't know what's wrong with you.

h/t: bioephemera

ETA: CBC News article on an upcoming manuscript documenting this tragedy.

ETA: A Scientific American article on the story. This one comes complete with a video of albatross chick necroscopies. And this article does (weakly) pay homage to Samuel Taylor Coleridge's epic poem.


Nat Blair said...

Aw crap. If there's something I've learned from old English poet dudes, it's that we shouldn't mess with albatrosses.

Ok, I'll be honest. I learned this from Iron Maiden. But they're English too, so it's all good baby.

Tom said...

Heh. I was sorely tempted to quote the Rime of the Ancient Mariner in this blog entry. Next to Piece of Mind, Powerslave is the best Iron Maiden album ever.

Nat Blair said...

I might go Number of the Beast first, but really you can't go wrong with any Maiden that doesn't have Blaze singing.

My brother and I saw the "Somewhere Back In Time" tour last summer. It was incredibly awesome Rime of the Ancient Mariner live kicked ass, and Powerslave was probably the highlight of the show.

Tom said...

Honestly, I stopped really listening to Iron Maiden after Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. On the heels of Somewhere in Time, it seemed like they lost their ability seriously rock. My tastes changed shortly thereafter (I think that's when I discovered bands like The Doors and Cream).

I should mention that I'm also a big fan of the two Paul Di'Anno albums, and I consider him the best vocalist the band has ever had.

Nat Blair said...

Yeah, I stopped after Seventh Son as well. Though if you're a fan, I suggest picking up their most recent A Matter of Life and Death. It's really very good.

I love the Di'Anno albums as well. Just a whole different feel between the two.