July 24, 2017

The Answer to Animal, Plant, Mineral, or Man-Made: #4

Take one last look at the mystery picture for the week of July 24…

Clue: The beach is a great place for horsing around, but be careful not to leave trash behind!

Now scroll to the bottom of the page to discover the answer.

Remember to take home all your belongings! Image courtesy Emma Bueren.

It’s a My Little Pony figurine that was found discarded on the beach at MBARI.

Remember to keep an eye on all your belongings at the beach—especially if they might gallop away. After some intrepid searching on the web, we’ve determined this toy is a 2014 Twilight Sparkle figurine from the “Rainbow Power” collection. It was likely lost during too much fun in the sun but not to worry; it’s found a new home in the science communication interns’ office

There’s no way to know what type of plastic this figurine is made of, but most plastics take years or even centuries to degrade. One of the most common plastics used in toy figurines is high-impact polystyrene, a sturdier type of styrofoam. Regular styrofoam, like packing peanuts or disposable thermal cups, can take up to 50 years in perfect conditions to degrade. Even thin plastic bags can take up to 20 years to degrade on the ocean floor and, in the meantime, can often harm or even kill marine animals which might mistake the bags for lunch. Remember to leave nothing but footprints on the beach so it’s clean and healthy for the years to come.

Congratulations to Rachel Kahn for being the first to guess right!

Runners up: Amanda Dahl, Chris Preston, and Margaret Hall.

More like this


Data repository
Data policy
Deep-Sea Guide
What is happening in Monterey Bay today?
Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System
Chemical data
Ocean float data
Slough data
Mooring ISUS measurements
Southern Ocean Data
Mooring data
M1 Mooring Summary Data
M1 Asimet
M1 download Info
M1 EMeter
Molecular and genomics data
ESP Web Portal
Seafloor mapping
Soundscape Listening Room
Upper ocean data
Spatial Temporal Oceanographic Query System (STOQS) Data
Image gallery
Video library
Creature feature
Deep-sea wallpapers
Previous seminars
David Packard Distinguished Lecturers
Research software
Video Annotation and Reference System
System overview
Data Use Policy
Video Tape User Guide
Video File User Guide
Annotation Glossary
Query Interface
Basic User Guide
Advanced User Guide
Query Glossary
VARS publications
VARS datasets used in publications
Oceanographic Decision Support System
MB-System seafloor mapping software
How to download and install MB-System
MB-System Documentation
MB-System Announcements
MB-System Announcements (Archive)
MB-System FAQ
MB-System Discussion Lists
MB-System YouTube Tutorials
Matlab scripts: Linear regressions
Introduction to Model I and Model II linear regressions
A brief history of Model II regression analysis
Index of downloadable files
Summary of modifications
Regression rules of thumb
Results for Model I and Model II regressions
Graphs of the Model I and Model II regressions
Which regression: Model I or Model II?
Matlab scripts: Oceanographic calculations
Matlab scripts: Sound velocity
Visual Basic for Excel: Oceanographic calculations
Educational resources
Navigating STEM careers
MBARI Summer Internship Program
2017 Summer Interns Blog
Education and Research: Testing Hypotheses (EARTH)
EARTH workshops
2016—New Brunswick, NJ
2015—Newport, Oregon
2016 Satellite workshop—Pensacola, FL
2016 Satellite workshop—Beaufort, NC
EARTH resources
EARTH lesson plans
Lesson plans—published
Lesson plans—development
Lesson drafts—2015
Lesson drafts—2016 Pensacola
Adopt-A-Float Program
Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education (C-MORE) Science Kits
Science at home: Curriculum and resources
Sample archive
SciComm Resources