Scientists have discovered a new type of “rock” that will stay in the Earth’s strata forever.
The rock is made out of plastic rubbish and other detritus, and has been dubbed Plastiglomerate.
Basically, it’s what happens when plastic melts on the beach and gets a bunch of stuff stuck to it- Shells, more sand, bits of coral,twigs and bird poop, whatever.
You could call it Metamorphic Garbage, if you were so inclined.
There are two types of Plastiglomerates, as discovered by research done on Kamilo Beach in Hawaii.
In Situ plastiglomerate is the rarer type, which occurs when plastic melts onto existing rocky outcrops.
Clastic plastiglomerates form as loose structures, and are much more common.
Plastiglomerate was first discovered by the oceanographer Captain Charles Moore, who thought that molten lava had melted the plastic to create the new “rock”.
Plastiglomerates will certainly be around long after the human species has died out or evolved into something else, and will provide a hardy, datable, anthropological record of our existence.
Note: It doesn’t seem that anyone has found a use for it yet, although here at Australian Mining the idea has floated that if ever the technology of plastic manufacture is lost, we may well end up mining Plastiglomerates and trading them as a valuable commodity.