This Heartbreaking (And Graphic) Video Will Make You Rethink That Plastic Straw

The next time you reach for a straw to pop into your iced coffee, think of the turtle in the video below.

A team of researchers was looking for turtles in Costa Rican waters last week when they came across an Olive Ridley sea turtle that appeared to be having trouble breathing.

When they took a closer look, they saw a crusted, cylindrical object lodged in one of his nostrils. Using a set of pliers, one of the researchers tried to pull the object out, but it was much longer than they had expected.

“In the beginning, we thought we were looking at some kind of parasite or epibiont,” Christine Figgener, a marine biology Ph.D. candidate, told The Huffington Post, referring to living organisms such as suckerfish or barnacles that live on the surface of other marine animals.

When they were sure the object was not a parasite that could be attached to the turtle’s brain, they clipped off a part of the object and examined it closely.

WARNING: Graphic images below.

“I already had the inkling that it might be a straw,” Figgener, who posted the video to her YouTube account, explained. One of the field hands bit into the mystery object, confirming that it was indeed a plastic straw.

“That moment was the turning point and we didn’t have to talk much about it,” Figgener told HuffPost. They immediately decided to pull it out.

With pliers and persistence, the researchers pulled for eight bloody minutes until the straw — all 4 inches of it — was dislodged.

“It is very common to find turtles with fishing hooks or lines attached to them,” Figgener told HuffPost, “but we have never seen a straw stuck in a sea turtle’s nostril before.”

Once the entire straw was removed, the —> Read More