(WXYZ) - Scientists are mapping the amount of plastic in the ocean--and what they're finding is alarming, but it's not for the reason you think.
The amount of floating plastics in our ocean has been a concern for years.
But when researchers started to measure the magnitude of plastic pollution in the open ocean, they made an unusual discovery.
In the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists note that they aren't finding as much plastic in the oceans as they should--which sounds like a good thing, but it's not.
The researchers say that the plastic is breaking down, and becoming fragmented. Which means it could easily be ingested by a wide range of organisms--making its way into the food chain.
The study says that the ocean may not be the final resting place for these plastics, citing ingestion and shore deposition as some of the reasons.
What's also alarming is scientists say plastic fragments can potentially last hundreds to thousands of years.
Check out the full study HERE.