Why does the Arctic have more plastic than most places on Earth?

Plastics travel on ocean currents and through the air to the far north and accumulate—sometimes inside the animals that live there.

Tiny fibers and debris collected during a sampling of a Greenland sea ice core are illuminated under a microscope in the lab of the research vessel Kronprins Haakon.
Photograph by Lawrence Hislop

Read This Next

Storyteller begins trek through China’s heartland
Planet circling a burned-out star offers a glimpse at the solar system's fate
This 50-year project is tracking the Cascades' melting glaciers

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet