Recently, people along the Texas coast have stared into the face of horror — and horror, in the form of a dismembered doll, stared right back.
The coastline has been covered with broken, disfigured and horrific looking baby dolls covered in sand, seaweed and barnacles. And their origin remains a terrifying mystery.
Jace Tunnell, the director of local reserve Mission-Aransas Reserve, told KIII News that he’s not sure where the dolls come from, but noted that ocean currents do push a lot of trash onto these beaches in South Texas.
However, “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver has a bigger plan for these inexplicable curios.
“Burn them,” Oliver said on his program this week. “Burn them now.”
Despite their horrifying nature, these dolls may have actually come into some use – Tunnell said that the group has sold some of the doll parts to raise money for sea turtle rehabilitation.
But Oliver has proposed taking that one step further, offering a $10,000 donation to the group for all of the remaining dolls.
And then, he added, he and his team would figure out how to destroy every single one of them.
Tunnell told the Houston Chronicle that he would accept that deal.
Creepy or not, marine debris is a global problem. As humans have dumped plastic and other waste, a lot of it has ended up in the oceans — including in the infamous giant whirls of trash in the Pacific.
These areas aren’t solid blocks of garbage, but rather zones where ocean currents push a lot of trash, says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. And this trash can cause all kinds of problems — from endangering marine wildlife to washing up on beaches as litter.
And it’s true that marine garbage travels all over the world — which has occasionally even helped scientists learn more about the ocean.
In 1992, a shipment of plastic bath toys fell off of a cargo ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Since then, the toys have floated on the high seas, reaching shores everywhere from Hawaii to Alaska to Atlantic Canada, and perhaps further. And scientists were able to use the movement and flow of the toys to study global ocean currents.