In an attempt to stave off ecological disaster, Mauritius residents are cutting off their own hair to soak up an oil spill that began off the coast of the island nation in late July.
The crisis that forced the government to declare a “state of environmental emergency” began when a Japanese ship started leaking tons of fuel oil into the Indian Ocean. The flow of oil has stopped, but officials are now rushing to drain an estimated 2,500 tons of oil from the bulk carrier before it breaks in half and further pollutes the water.
The commodities vessel has leaked some 1,000 metric tons of oil into the sea. Residents of the small nation are doing whatever they can to contain the oil, making booms from sugar cane leaves, plastic bottles, old stockings, and even, somewhat alarmingly, human hair that people are voluntarily cutting off.
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