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  • Writer's pictureJohnny Caputo

Science Sunday: Garbage Surprise

Chronsylvania is full of strange phenomena, much like our own world. Every Sunday we'll highlight an article that explores the strange, and very real, scientific properties of our universe. We'll also leave you with a writing/drawing prompt based on the article to get your creative juices flowing.

This week’s article comes from @mikewehner (give him a follow on Twitter and Instagram) and was inspired by a photo originally posted on Instagram by the US Department of the Interior (@usinterior). The article highlights an unexpectedly adorable surprise scientists discovered in the most overlooked of frontiers: piles of human garbage.

Yup, as scientists in Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park in Hawaii were cleaning up ocean trash from near a coral reef, they happened upon this unbearably cute little monstrosity.

Read the full article here:

Two things stand out about this discovery. The first, and this really goes without saying, is how invasive our disposable culture has become in the larger scheme of the planet. Obviously, the mountains of pollutive trash we create every day are a gigantic issue that we need to figure out a solution to like yesterday. But the thing I find truly fascinating about this discovery is the fact that despite the clearly harmful and potentially deadly invasion of trash into its habitat, this tiny, seemingly fragile creature was able to survive. That may not have been the case for long had the scientists not been there to clean up the mess, but the fact remains: the octopus survived. This cute little guy (who is barely the size of a fingernail) found ways to adapt, at least temporarily, to the unnatural invasion perpetrated upon its home.

This picture has got me in a state of wonder at Nature’s strength. Nature is flexible and resilient. No matter what challenges the cosmos or humankind decides to throw at it, the natural world finds all sorts of ways to bend, to adapt. To survive.

This is not to say that we should rely on that strength as an excuse to allow us to do whatever the hell we want with the planet. On the contrary, we should take a moment like this to reflect upon the beauty and power of the creatures who live on this planet with us. This is a chance to realize the common heritage we share with creatures like this octopus, for us to remember that for as long as plants and animals have been on this planet, they have adapted to the challenges of surviving on it. Just like humans (a singular animal species known as Homo Sapiens) have adapted to these same survival challenges of climate and predators and finding sustenance by creating a culture of waste and pollution to insulate ourselves against those challenges. The only trick is that now those millenia of cultural practices we’ve created to protect us threaten the entire planet.

And if we truly are an intelligent species, if we truly want to show that we have the same tenacity and will to survive as our miniscule octopi brethren, maybe it’s time for us to realize that if we want to have a habitat left to be able to adapt to, we need to make a few more adaptations of our own.

Creative Prompt: Set a five minute timer, and for the entire five minutes write or draw something based on the following prompt: “In one hundred years the earth will be different because…” Fill in the blank with whatever you feel necessary.

When the timer goes off, sit back and review/reflect upon what you wrote or sketched. Consider what you thought would be different about the earth and how living species, humans, plants, animals, bacteria, etc. will have adapted to the changed environment. Then, pick one or more of these adaptations and make another drawing or piece of writing based on the consequences of that adaptation.

Share your writing and art with us on Twitter and Instagram @lumberjacksonco or you can email us directly at We’d love to broadcast your writing and art to the world via our website and social media channels. If you want us to publish your work, simply include a brief message that reads, “Okay to publish.”

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Thanks for reading, and we'll see you next Wednesday with a brand new page.

#ScienceSunday #creativity #creativeprompts #creativityforkids #drawingprompts #NaNoWriMo #writingprompt #writingprompts #writerslife #amwriting

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