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Researchers have uncovered the real reason degraded plastics are showing up everywhere, even across the universe. The answer will shock you.

John Spevacek

April 1, 2024

3 Min Read
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Alexandr Zaytsev/Creatas Video+ via Getty Images

Researchers from around the world have announced a shocking new discovery that explains why degraded plastics are everywhere. Over the last few decades, plastics, and microplastics in particular, have been discovered everywhere — in the oceans, rain, and hurricanes; inside our bodies; in the food we eat and the water we drink. Until now, this has been blamed on the widespread use of plastics in modern society, and especially on plastic waste that has not been disposed of properly. However, new research has discovered the true cause.

Researchers hail from all seven continents

Since plastics are everywhere around the globe, it was necessary to have researchers from all seven continents participate. They include:

  • The Ukrainian Humorina Institute in Kyiv

  • Dia de los Santos Inocentes University in Buenos Aires

  • The Balmy Temperature Research Station, McMurdo Beach (Antarctica)

  • The KangaKoalingo Center for Rare Composite Research, Old North Wales, Australia

  • The Tweebuffelsmeteenskootmorsdoodgekietfontein Center for Advanced Learning, South Africa

  • Supreme Kim Jong Institute for Supreme Research, Pyongyang, North Korea 

  • The Aaprul Phools Institute of Polymeric Research in Eclaire, East Dakota

Researchers have long been puzzled by the ubiquity of plastics throughout the world. Lead researcher Dr. E.G.G. Head stated, “Plastics are everywhere. I mean everywhere! They’re on the Dark Side of the Moon, they’re in Kashmir, the Toys in the Attic had some, we even found them one Night at the Opera. They’re inside of people, too. There’s Rubber in your Soul, they’re on your Sticky Fingers, and, frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were plastics where the sun don’t shine.”

Polymer degradation reaches levels thought impossible

While it is not unexpected that polymers degrade in the environment, new discoveries announced every week show that the extent of the degradation is at levels previously thought impossible.

Researchers first tested a novel hypothesis for the source of the massive dispersion — Elvis. According to Dr. I. M. Natsosmart: “We know that even in death, Elvis was still found everywhere. People saw him at a Burger King in Kalamazoo, he was an extra in Home Alone, and most recently was seen at Legoland in California. My lab tech Joe reads the World Weekly News a lot and had the idea that maybe Elvis was just tossing microplastics everywhere he went, sort of like a modern-day Johnny Appleseed. He was probably at Legoland to stock up.” The suspicious minds of the researchers soon gave up on that hypothesis, dropping it like a hunk, a hunk of burning plastic.

One misguided researcher explored a possible connection with James Brown. Dr. Misheard Leerics explained: “I figured it out. The Godfather of Soul was always singing about how his Papa’s got a brand-new plastic bag. Now that I’ve got that solved, I’ll go back to studying Bob Dylan. I still don’t know why he sings, “These ants are my friends, they’re blowing in the wind.’” Dr. Leerics’ results were published as a minority report.

The eureka moment

The puzzle as to what was breaking up so much plastic was finally solved with a palm-slap-to-the-forehead. “It was so obvious,” exclaimed Dr. Obbvy-Us. “The answer was right in front of us the entire time. It’s the namesake co-founder of the Plastic Ono Band — Yoko Ono. It’s all her fault. She broke up the Beatles, and now she’s breaking up all the plastic. It all clicked when we heard her sing, ‘Give Piece a Chance.’”

About the Author(s)

John Spevacek

Born and raised in Minnesota, John Spevacek earned a B.ChE. from the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities) and a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois (Urbana). He worked in the plastics industry for 25 years for several companies, large and small, in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

He began teaching so that he could share his experiences and knowledge with others. He and his wife became fed up with Minnesota winters and moved south shortly after this career change. Spevacek currently is an assistant professor of engineering at Wake Tech Community College in Raleigh, NC.

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