We always have our eyes open for inspiring stories about environmental protection, even when they’re found halfway around the world.
Earlier this summer, renowned sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik created this piece of art at Puri Beach in Odisha, India with a strong message about the importance of curbing plastic pollution in our oceans.
His 55-foot long, 30-foot wide sand sculpture of a Olive ridley sea turtle was made with approximately 30 tons of sand and a countless number of plastic bottles.
The installation was created for World Environment Day in India, just a few days after a pilot whale was found dead in a nearby province, prompting an autopsy that found 85 plastic bags and more than 17 pounds of other plastic items in its stomach.
The art showcased the unfortunate plight of the more than 100 million marine animals that die each year from ocean pollution as they mistake plastics and other garbage as food.
The Olive ridley sea turtles, along with the Kemps ridley sea turtles, are best known for their unique mass nesting called arribada, where thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs. The artist chose the Olive ridley as his focal point as Odisha is one of the “mass nesting” areas for the species, where last year more than 385,000 turtles had come to lay eggs in the span of seven days.