Don’t think a 20-foot fake great white shark is scary anymore? Try giant garbage patches floating amid the planet’s oceans.
That’s the message in Tuesday’s Science on Screen event at The Grand Cinema, part of a national day of combining movie science with the real thing. In Tacoma, the fake shark in “Jaws” will highlight the very real threat of the tons of millions of plastic we’ve dumped into our oceans.
Introducing the 1975 Stephen Spielberg classic about hapless swimmers attacked by a great white shark will be Karen Povey, curator of conservation engagement at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. With a talk, “What’s the Scariest Thing in the Sea? Diving into Ocean Plastics,” Povey will explain the gyres of plastic debris — known as the great Pacific garbage patch — which appear in all the oceans and are so broad and deep as to be unmeasurable. Made up of billions of tiny bits of plastic that never break down, starve ocean wildlife and reappear as chemicals in human bodies, the garbage patches are a global problem that no one nation is committing to cleaning up.
The national multidate Science on Screen event, begun in 2005, involves 29 independent theaters across the country, each pairing live scientists with science-based film, from documentary to cult science fiction. This is the second year The Grand has participated.