More like gross-cean

Nine disgusting things about the ocean…

The ocean is majestic and beautiful, but it’s also kinda icky. As surfers, we see the best of it, but also the worst. We ride perfect waves, and then we realise those waves break on a beach that has a sewer outlet running across it. The yin and the yang.

Here are nine reason why the ocean should really be called the ‘gross-cean’.

It’s basically just a giant fish toilet

There are more than 230,000 species that live in the sea – that we know about – and they’re all doing their number ones and twos in that thing. That’s one hell of a lot of ‘bio waste’ to be splashing about in.

In fact…

Even the sand is made of fish poop

That’s right even once you’re out of the great blue bog, you’re lying on a great heap of flounder faeces. These dirty little buggers chew up the coral from reefs, excrete it as a fine white powder, then deposit it – that’s right – on those beautiful pristine beaches.

Also lots of human waste…

One of the awesome things about human beings is we really love doing our business au naturale. From pooping in the woods on a hike to peeing in the same sweet, sweet ocean water we happen to be swimming in. Show us a surfer who says they’ve never peed in their suit to keep warm on a chilly day and we’ll show you a damned liar.

So many gross creatures doing unthinkably weird stuff

If you don’t know what a Gulper eel is I strongly suggest you keep it that way, because once you know you’ll never forget. No matter how much you might want to. Seriously, don’t google it. Definitely don’t watch this video. *shudder*

If you don’t shower after the beach you will get MRSA

Ok, this is an exaggeration, but your chances of contracting the virus really are 30% higher if you don’t hose yourself off after a day rolling about in all that old fish excrement.

We need to talk about hagfish

Holy mackerel, if you thought the Gulper eel was bad. My word. Just get a read of this from

“Hagfish possess a slender, pinkish body that oozes sticky slime, contains three hearts, and lacks jaws or working eyes. Two pairs of rasps on the tip of a tongue-like projection help the sea beast feed on dead or dying fish near the ocean bottom, as well as marine invertebrates. Babies look no cuter when they hatch as miniature versions of adult hagfish, but all versions can sneeze slime when their nostrils fill up.” 


Honest to god, I’m not sure I’ll ever sleep again.

So much plastic

Now we get onto the really disgusting stuff. Us humans currently put about eight million tons of plastic waste into the ocean every year. That’s about a bin lorry’s worth every minute. This is obviously causing untold carnage among the ecosystems beneath the surface – damage that’ll last centuries.

Trash islands

Some of that plastic – plus a whole bunch of other non-degradable grossness – gets caught up in ocean currents called ‘gyres’. These swirling currents trap all that discarded crap in the centre of what is basically a giant vortex – creating trash islands.

The largest of these is called The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Yup. Awesome. Good work humanity.



‘Black gold’

Photo thanks to: “Office of Response and Restoration“ 

Photo thanks to: “Office of Response and Restoration“ 

 The most valuable resource in the world comes with a hefty cost for the ocean. Leaving aside the admittedly horrifying but quite rare incidences of major oil spills like the BP disaster, more than 90% of the oil pollution in our oceans comes from illegal oil disposal on land, as well as ships at sea that deliberately discharge their waste oil into the world’s waters.


Depressing and disgusting.




It ain’t all bad

So, to avoid ending on too much of a downer – what can we do to help our beautiful oceans recover from all the disgusting stuff we’ve done to it, and keep it a clean and clear place for all those absolutely repellent lifeforms that call it home?

Well, use less plastic is one thing. There’s a whole bunch of ways of avoiding single-use plastic – all of which we wholeheartedly support.

Then there’s products you can buy that actively support ocean conservation work – like our 4Ocean bracelets. For every bracelet sold, 4Ocean remove a pound of rubbish from the sea. That’s a real and tangible benefit and an absolute bargain too at £16.

Now if only there were a bracelet for removing all memories of the existence of hagfish from my brain…