It’s a rock, it’s a pebble, nope; it’s pyroplastic.

These new form of plastic pollutants look exactly like small rocks because of color degradation. Next time, you hit the beach, beware!

National Geographic Discovers New Form of Plastic Pollution. Pieces of plastic that are gray, round, and resembling rocks and pebbles are hiding in plain sight on the beaches of southern England.

ON THE SANDY embayments rimming the southwestern English coastline, beachcombers can find a wide array of stones, from tiny pebbles to hefty paperweights, strewn amidst the flotsam. They’re a rather unremarkable looking bunch; a palette of grays offset with the occasional swirl of color, smooth on their surfaces and rounded at the corners.

But start picking them up and handling them, and you’ll soon discover that some of these seemingly nondescript rocks aren’t rocks at all.

This is pyroplastic—a newly described form of plastic pollution that was transformed by fire. Even geologists are often confounded by its appearance. To Andrew Turner, an environmental scientist at the University of Plymouth who described the substance in a recent paper in Science of the Total Environment, continue reading…