Previously, many scientists assumed that corals were accidentally consuming plastics. But in a paper published in the Marine Pollution Bulletin in October 2017, researchers proposed an alternative reason. Apparently, humans might be producing plastics that are just too delicious for corals to resist.
In a laboratory study, researchers from North Carolina’s Duke University ran a series of tests on coral kept in seawater tanks. Alternatively, they placed particles of both plastic and sand inside the tanks. But while the corals rejected the sand, their reaction to the plastic was far more surprising.