We Killed Them

Albatross

Here's a set of sad and stunning pictures of what we've done to our planet.

Photographer Chris Jordan writes:

"These photographs of albatross chicks were made in September 2009 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. To document this phenomenon as faithfully as possible, not a single piece of plastic in any of these photographs was moved, placed, manipulated, arranged, or altered in any way. These images depict the actual stomach contents of baby birds in one of the world's most remote marine sanctuaries, more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent."

Watch Jordan's slide show, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via dossier journal)

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Comments

  1. Human beings are Earths cancer. Money hungry, self centered, disgusting, vile people we are.

    Posted by: J. Bocca | Nov 12, 2009 10:23:39 AM


  2. how did this specie survive this long without being able to distinguish what's edible and what's not?

    Posted by: hima | Nov 12, 2009 10:45:15 AM


  3. Dear Hima,
    Missing the point much?

    Posted by: Blaz | Nov 12, 2009 11:06:13 AM


  4. Damn, that's where my lighter went!

    Posted by: JayDub | Nov 12, 2009 11:14:52 AM


  5. I once heard it said; "we are not destroying the earth but we are destroying our ability to survive on the earth." I believe it.

    Posted by: Randy | Nov 12, 2009 11:19:05 AM


  6. Heartbreaking.

    Posted by: Hank | Nov 12, 2009 11:22:35 AM


  7. Well that's a sad human editorial.

    Posted by: jakeinlove | Nov 12, 2009 11:39:26 AM


  8. I had been putting ALL plastic in my recycling plastic/metal trash can for years. Bottle tops, dry cleaning plastic and bags. I however just found out on Monday after a meeting w/ the recycling outreach coordinator for my community that the only plastic my city recycles is in the form of bottles and jugs! All those little plastic items that found their way into these animal must be thrown in w/ regular trash. ???

    Posted by: Schniffy | Nov 12, 2009 11:59:43 AM


  9. ...and CUT! To the picture of the polar bear cub struggling on a melting ice flow! There is something about this whole proposition that feels dubious to me -- not the ocean waste, which is there for sure, but the idea that birds are busy feeding it to their young and then the young are decomposing in the tides and exposing neatly packaged plastics in their remains. Really?

    Posted by: Pee Town | Nov 12, 2009 12:12:39 PM


  10. Survival of the fittest anyone? I mean come on. Other animals know what food is and what food is not. And I kind of do not believe that all this junk was inside that bird at the time of death. If I ate one lighter, I'd have a bowel obstruction in about 3 hours and need surgery or die. More fabrication!!

    Posted by: BC | Nov 12, 2009 12:25:40 PM


  11. Well, according to the Bible, we do hold dominion over all the Earth's creatures, so who cares? All animals were created in the Garden of Eden to serve us. This is also clear evidence that evolution is false, because, as Hima notes, these birds should've learned to distinguish between edible and inedible a long time ago. As awful as these pictures are, it's all part of God's plan, which we cannot hope to understand, but we should be grateful that we are all saved through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, as long as we don't act on our homosexual impulses.

    Now where's my Dasani bottled water and plastic clamshell to-go salad (organic!)? I'm having lunch with Carrie Prejean!

    Posted by: Latebrosus | Nov 12, 2009 12:27:58 PM


  12. @ BC

    Assuming you're kidding, "I kind of do not believe" your joke is funny.

    These pictures are tragic.

    And what's worse is that the Pacific Gyre, where most of this plastic detrius ends up, is only getting larger.

    Posted by: AERES | Nov 12, 2009 12:45:52 PM


  13. A sad, sad commentary on our lack of respect for our planet. To better understand this issue, read "My Ishmael". Change your persepctive and you change your life.

    Posted by: Brad | Nov 12, 2009 12:46:31 PM


  14. These people who keep arguing about knowing what to eat and what not to eat clearly need to go back and take some science classes regarding evolution and "survival of the fittest." Instincts regarding avoiding things that are lethal are created over centuries of reproduction - not over the course of one animal's life. Why would these birds have any idea not to eat that when for centuries they have been able to pick up whatever from the ocean, feed it to their chicks and not kill them? That's instinct. These items haven't been around for centuries...they have been around what, maybe a couple of generations at best.

    Please THINK before you type. Geez.

    Posted by: Caleb | Nov 12, 2009 1:11:26 PM


  15. The thing is as much as environmentalists urge us to seek out renewable forms of energy, recycle and develop biodegradable products, and cut co2 emissions (of which developing nations will more than make up for any cut we make), it's far too late. There's nothing we can do at this point to reverse global warming, or, to put it bluntly, save the environment. It's game over, and the only reason we should continue to push for renewable energy is due to the ever decreasing supply of fossil fuels. Eventually, you'll start SEEING it get worse at a geoemetric rate. Think it's bad now? LOL! It's good to see people concerned about it, but they achieve nothing but some kind of emotional fulfillment.

    Posted by: TANK | Nov 12, 2009 1:15:31 PM


  16. For those who think we are superior and animals inferior, for all of our supposed intelligence we abuse our bodies in every imaginable way, we abuse our own in every imaginable way, and we abuse the other inhabitants of this earth similarly even though our very existence depends on them. Superior being, god's chosen - forget it!

    Posted by: Jim | Nov 12, 2009 1:32:14 PM


  17. do you notice most of this birds like anything that is blue and red and stuff bigger than their beaks.
    is sad but it looks to stage like the stuff is way to big to be feed by their mothers and mostly the composition have the same color.

    regular human beings dont make as much waste as big companies, the problem should rely more in the big companies

    Posted by: josepe | Nov 12, 2009 1:45:51 PM


  18. J. Bocca, I just hate to agree with you, but I often do.

    Posted by: David T | Nov 12, 2009 1:46:55 PM


  19. I feel ashamed to be a human being today.

    Posted by: Juliana | Nov 12, 2009 2:00:51 PM


  20. "An American monkey, after getting drunk on brandy, would never touch it again, and thus is much wiser than most men."

    CD

    Posted by: TANK | Nov 12, 2009 2:06:25 PM


  21. Plastics have been around for about 50 years, and humans have produced roughly 600 billion tons of them. Every day merchant ships (excluding military) drop 660,000 plastic containers in the world's waters. Hell, most skin scrubbing products that people use in the shower are based on plastic beads, which then go down the drain. Birds don't know the difference, and most birds cannot see many colors.

    Anyone who thinks this is staged or sustainable doesn't know enough. The largest pile of churning plastic in the Pacific is the size of Africa, for chrissakes.

    Posted by: Paul R | Nov 12, 2009 2:22:16 PM


  22. Guys, if we put any open container on the beach and it sunk into the sand, within a few days, it would be filled with plastic and junk that got brought in with the tide. I am in full agreement that the polution is horrific. However, what clearly happened here is that this bird died, it was hollowed out by some predatory animal and as it deteriorated on the beach, junk got caught inside it's abdominal cavity. Look at the stuff - eating just ONE of those items would have killed the bird. There is no way it ate all of that stuff. So the photographer is correct - he did not manipulate the picture. But he did manipulate the interpretation.

    Posted by: BC | Nov 12, 2009 3:35:12 PM


  23. This piece would have been better with video of birds actually repeatedly feeding the plastic to their young. Obviously it happens, so this should be an easy matter, to quell the doubters. Go back. Get the video. Make them shut up and own up.

    Posted by: Randy | Nov 12, 2009 4:23:23 PM


  24. @ Caleb - Survival of the Fittest happens b/c the "less fit" of each generation have less of a chance to mate and pass on their "less fit" genes. So although it does happen over centuries, there is a generational component to it as well.

    Posted by: BC | Nov 12, 2009 4:26:08 PM


  25. Human beings suck. If I had the ability, I would wipe out humanity so other species on this planet might have a chance. Although in reality we've probably already fucked this planet up for eons to come ...

    Posted by: Bob | Nov 12, 2009 4:41:58 PM


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