No, it’s NOT Photoshopped

Surfing a wave filled with ocean trash

It’s a remarkable photo taken by senior photographer at Surfer Magazine, Zak Noyle. While at first glance it seems that a bit of photo manipulation was used to make the image a bit more surreal, but that’s not the case. The trash you see floating alongside the surfer is the real deal.

It’s a sad but true depiction of pollution littering our oceans.

Noyle snapped the photo while on location in Java, Indonesia. In this part of the world, many towns have virtually no organized garbage collection infrastructure in place. Consequently, much of the human-generated trash ends up in local waterways and oceans.

Ocean pollution in Indonesia

This isn’t a localized problem, however. Trash litters lakes, rivers and oceans all over the planet.

If you haven’t heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, you may not realize the global scope of the problem.

The Garbage Patch is located in the Pacific Ocean between the Western United States and Eastern Asia. It’s an area of the Northern Pacific Ocean that contains exceptionally high levels of plastic particles, toxic waste and floating trash.

Decomposing ocean trash introduces toxic chemicals into the sea, which is then ingested by fish and other wildlife. We eat tainted fish. Needless to say, it’s unhealthy for us and marine animals.

Images like Noyle’s trash-filled barrel wave can help raise awareness about responsible waste removal and what needs to be done on a local and global scale to ensure trash ends up in landfills and waste-to-energy facilities rather than our beautiful oceans.

The photo has already taken the Internet by storm being shared countless times on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook, and being picked up by major websites like Huffington Post and Please share/pin the photo to help keep ocean conservation in front of the masses. Every little bit helps.

Here's a larger version of the image for you: