3 min read

Video Shows Manta Ray Swimming Through A Sea Of Trash

He’s eating it too 💔

Gliding through the water, a manta ray dodges left and right to avoid the mounds of garbage floating all around him.

Plastic wrappers and cups bob around with the waves as the animal swims just below the water’s surface.

The ray opens his large mouth in hopes of catching a plankton or small fish as he swims — but all he gets is a crumpled plastic bottle.

This was the heartbreaking scene recently filmed off the coast of Nusa Penida, an island in Bali, Indonesia.

manta ray pollution eat
The ray catching a plastic bottle in his mouth | Facebook/National Geographic Asia

These waters are a hotspot for divers hoping to spot some stunning marine life — but what they’re coming home with instead are stories about just how trash-filled the ocean has become there.

Diver Richard Horner encountered a similar scene in March: a sea of garbage, with very few animals to be seen. His footage quickly went viral.

Roughly 8 million tons of plastic enter the world’s oceans each year, and endanger the lives of both land and sea animals.

Plastic waste is especially bad news for filter feeders like rays, who have been found to ingest around 40 to 90 plastic pieces in just one hour of feeding at the water’s surface in Southern Bali.

manta ray pollution plastic
The ray swimming through the trash | Facebook/National Geographic Asia

This can eventually cause sickness and even death — all because someone chose to toss their trash in the water.

You can do your part to help by limiting the amount of single-use plastic products you buy, opting for reusable bags instead, and by recycling plastic waste in secure containers. The tide carries plastic farther than you think — so every decision counts.