The carcass of a 31-foot sperm whale washed ashore in the Southeast Sulawesi province in eastern Indonesia late Monday night. The contents of its stomach were disgusting, but not in the way you may be thinking.
The whale's body was rescued by people from Wakatobi National Park.
Members of the park's conservation academy, along with researchers from World Wildlife Fund (WWF), discovered the whale had approximately 13 pounds of plastic waste in its stomach.
The plastic contents included 115 plastic cups, 4 plastic bottles, 25 plastic bags, 2 flip-flops, a nylon sack, and of 1,000 other pieces of assorted plastic.
Dwi Suprapti, a marine species conservation coordinator at WWF, said:
"Although we have not been able to deduce the cause of death, the facts that we see are truly awful."
It is unclear whether or not the plastic consumption was the cause of death or a disturbing complication.
Indonesia's maritime affairs minister, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, hopes the whale will highlight the need to reduce plastic use.
"I'm so sad to hear this. It is possible that many other marine animals are also contaminated with plastic waste and this is very dangerous for our lives."
A picture editor at Red Bulletin Magazine posted pictures of the whale and its stomach contents.
A stranded whale was found in Indonesia with more than 1,000 plastic pieces in its stomach #endplasticpollution… https://t.co/Opw8k21kJA— Tahira Mirza (@Tahira Mirza)1542726226.0
This video shows more of the devastating discovery.
This is the moment officials found 13 pounds of plastic waste in a dead sperm whale's stomach. What they found is… https://t.co/mBSV40Wh1K— TicToc by Bloomberg (@TicToc by Bloomberg)1542788887.0
People are finding the whale's stomach contents to be nauseating, as well as a call to action.
This makes me sick. https://t.co/LYPlKBA7PK— Denise Shull, MA (@Denise Shull, MA)1542717464.0
This is disgusting. Mass production of consumer plastics has only been around for about 60 years... will the oceans… https://t.co/X4QCq1cpmA— ScienceMan (@ScienceMan)1542723906.0
@GreenpeaceUK @The_PlugSeeker Would like to say this makes us angry, but it actually makes us feel ashamed to be pa… https://t.co/ACh0V9IYS0— Plug In Adventures (@Plug In Adventures)1542740517.0
@tictoc This is just sad. Killed by humans.— Yvonne (@Yvonne)1542809502.0
@tahiramirza1 Poor whale. We're all making too much pollution. Recycle, reuse, and reduce! Repeat.— Supernova3030 (@Supernova3030)1542750960.0
@tahiramirza1 😨 we’re nature’s worst epidemic.— Chalupa Batman (@Chalupa Batman)1542764625.0
@globalnews @GlobalNational Disturbing how humanity does not care about anything. This is a dying world.— Corbyn (@Corbyn)1542719509.0
@CBCNews No one will ever convince me that the deadliest animal on the planet isn't the human being. Not only for t… https://t.co/9UkleXcPCP— . (@.)1542740933.0
@CBCNews Humans are shi*ty. We destroy everything we come in contact with.— Pacific Steve (@Pacific Steve)1542749083.0
@globalnews @GlobalBC We can do so much better than this.— Karen Haugland (@Karen Haugland)1542741689.0
To see your effect on the planet, check out Earth Day's Plastic Pollution Calculator.