‘The Swim’ Ended With 1,000 New Scientific Samples… Here’s What’s Next | The Swim

After months of harsh weather, equipment failure,
and scenes like this… Ben Lecomte’s historic world record attempt has come to a halt. But the mission still continues. Ben is more determined than ever
to bring attention to the state of our world’s oceans. I remember, since I’m a little boy, working on the beach with my father, I never saw any plastic around. And in the last 50 years or so, the number of plastic that you find is… it’s crazy. I think that it’s my duty to try to do
something to correct it so my children don’t have to inherit that problem. You may have heard that we know less about our own oceans than we do about the moon, or even the surface of Mars. The vast majority of what we do know is limited to ecosystems close to shore, and that’s because our oceans are massive,
with dangers lurking at every turn. This expedition wasn’t just a swim. It was also a citizen science expedition. So far we’ve collected over 1,100 samples, and that includes samples on microplastic microfibers, bigger pieces of plastic, too –
and we also did water collection, and also on Ben’s microbiome, his DNA,
and his heart, too. This is a major victory for marine research, but just a baby step in the big picture of ocean exploration. Although the ocean has been difficult
to explore and research, The Swim is taking tiny steps with a team of scientists to investigate so many unknowns. There’s a lot of plastic that still remains
unknown and lost at sea. So it may be in the water column,
it may be inside the stomach of different animals in the ocean, or even marine birds for example, but we don’t know where all the plastic is. We still don’t know whether microfibers accumulate in patches like microplastics do. They are so much smaller,
and with so many different other sources… and of course the effect that it will have on us… it’s way too early to decide on this. For the last 20 years, there’s been a lot that we’ve learned about sharks. But there’s still a lot that we don’t know. For these species living in more remote areas, we don’t know anything. When you record this animal in the wild, you get a lot of information on their social structure. This sum of recording is giving us a transect,
a view of how dense the populations are. This is completely unknown. Who knows what power these discoveries will hold. The ocean harbors clues to our evolutionary past, and keys to our future…
from clean energy to engineering secrets and the potential for promising new cures. But all of this could be lost
if pollution continues at this rate. Everywhere, every day, we found plastic. Even now. I put my hand in the water. I wait one minute. I put my hand up, and I already have fragments of microplastic. You try to extend that to the whole ocean and it’s just… it’s mind-blowing. I hope the scientists will have a lot of samples to be able to study more and to learn more where this plastic comes from, and how this plastic is threatening the health of our ocean and our health ultimately. If it’s not enough for us to see that there are many species in the ocean being damaged at least we can be worried
that we are being damaged, too. For The Swim crew, this expedition has been full of countless unforgettable moments, and one steadfast mission. The more and more people get inspired to do something, little by little we are going to correct all the wrongdoing that we have done and hopefully pass a healthier ocean to our children. I think what we have done, even though it’s a little crazy, that’s the reason why sometimes we need to do something that is out of the ordinary to get attention. So you can hashtag #JoinTheSwim
to give us all the changes that you may have done or you are planning on doing, reducing your use of a plastic and being a better steward of the environment. Thank you guys for being here. Keep following us on Seeker.com/TheSwim, BenLecomte.com, we’ll have much more to come for you
and keep it up guys. Thank you very much for
accompanying us on this journey! – Yup, thank you! – Cheers!
– See you later!
– Bye-bye! Be sure to visit Seeker.com/TheSwim to read daily updates from Ben Lecomte, track his progress, and watch more videos about the science happening onboard Seeker. Click here for this next episode, and don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks for watching.

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