A recent study estimated that nearly 150 million tons of plastic is currently polluting the world’s oceans, but has it really reached a point where penguins are living on islands of plastic? This viral video purportedly showing a group of penguins living on island made of ice, garbage, and other debris in the Pacific Ocean is frequently shared online.
This is not genuine footage of penguins living on a plastic island. This is a digitally manipulated video that was originally posted by the World Wildlife Foundation on 1 April 2018. The WWF have created this clip as an April Fool’s Day joke, but their original Facebook post linked to an article which explains that although the footage was faked, the problem is real (translated from German):
“Fortunately, our discovery of penguins on the island made of plastic waste is not genuine. All the penguins we filmed are well and continue to live happily on their island of ice. It is a picture montage. But we live in a world where such hazards from plastic pollution could very quickly become real, so there’s no April Fool punchline, just serious background.
Eight million tons of plastic are thrown into the ocean each year — by 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish. Therefore, we should all reflect to ourselves on what we do to our planet with our daily behavior. Plastic smothers our seas and we need to act urgently before stories that sound impossible become possible.” Let us all #StayLogical!