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In Photos: Litter Transforms Into Sea Creatures in Stunning Shots

Beyond drifting

beyond drifting imperfectly known animals

Ophelia medustica, a specimen collected from Glounthaune shoreline, Cove or Cork, Ireland, was made of a stroller wheel. (Image credit: © Mandy Barker)

Artist Mandy Barker has used her photographic talents to capture bits of ocean flotsam — such as stroller wheels, toy horses, burnt plastic flowers and six-pack rings — and transform them into plankton-like sea creatures. Barker's art exhibit will be published in the book "Beyond Drifting: Imperfectly Known Animals" (Overlapse, forthcoming May 2017).

Here, Ophelia medustica, a specimen collected from Glounthaune shoreline, Cove or Cork, Ireland, was made of a stroller wheel.

Nebula

beyond drifting

Nebulae plaurosbrathic, collected from Carrigaloe estuary, Cove of Cork, Ireland, was formed from a group of partially burnt flowers. (Image credit: © Mandy Barker)

Nebulae plaurosbrathic, collected from Carrigaloe estuary, Cove of Cork, Ireland, was formed from a group of partially burnt flowers.

Pretty plankton

beyond-drifting

Plamacina retroversta ic. III, another view of the white plastic horse transformed into a drifting piece of plankton. (Image credit: © Mandy Barker)

Plamacina retroversta ic. III, another view of the white plastic horse transformed into a drifting piece of plankton.

Burnt flower

beyond drifting

Pleurobrachia stileucae, a fantastical type of plankton formed is created from a partially burnt plastic flower collected from the Carrigaloe estuary, Cove of Cork, Ireland. (Image credit: © Mandy Barker)

Pleurobrachia stileucae, a fantastical type of plankton formed is created from a partially burnt plastic flower collected from the Carrigaloe estuary, Cove of Cork, Ireland.

Plastic horse

beyond drifting

Plamacina retroversta ic. I, a Specimen collected from Cobh shoreline, Cove of Cork, Ireland, was originally a white plastic horse (Image credit: © Mandy Barker)

Plamacina retroversta ic. I, a specimen collected from Cobh shoreline, Cove of Cork, Ireland, was originally a white plastic horse

6-pack rings

beyond drifting

Copeopod langisticus, a specimen collected from Roche's Point, Cove of Cork, Ireland, was originally a six-pack plastic ring. (Image credit: © Mandy Barker)

Copeopod langisticus, a specimen collected from Roche's Point, Cove of Cork, Ireland, was originally a six-pack plastic ring.

Barbie beauty

beyond drifting

Plividas chloticus. In a past life, this sea creature was once the arm of a Barbie doll found on Fota Island, Cove of Cork, Ireland. (Image credit: © Mandy Barker)

Plividas chloticus. In a past life, this sea creature was once the arm of a Barbie doll found on Fota Island, Cove of Cork, Ireland.

Wheelies

beyond drifting

Phoronilasteri crae, collected from Whitepoint, Cobh shoreline, Cove of Cork, Ireland, was once a tricycle wheel. (Image credit: © Mandy Barker)

Phoronilasteri crae, collected from Whitepoint, Cobh shoreline, Cove of Cork, Ireland, was once a tricycle wheel.

Quirky creature

beyond drifting

Dinoplage stellices, once a mobile phone case, has been transformed into a fantastical sea creature. (Image credit: © Mandy Barker)

Dinoplage stellices, once a mobile phone case, has been transformed into a fantastical sea creature.

Shoe sole

beyond drifting

Aureplia auristice, collected from Blackrock shoreline, Cove of Cork, Ireland, was once a humble shoe sole. (Image credit: © Mandy Barker)

Aureplia auristice, collected from Blackrock shoreline, Cove of Cork, Ireland, was once a humble shoe sole.

Electrified

beyond drifting

Heplandista ica, collected from Carrigaloe estuary, Cove of Cork, Ireland, was transformed into a fantastical plankton species from an electric plug and wire. (Image credit: © Mandy Barker)

Heplandista ica, collected from Carrigaloe estuary, Cove of Cork, Ireland, was transformed into a fantastical plankton species from an electric plug and wire.

Tia Ghose
Tia has interned at Science News, Wired.com, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and has written for the Center for Investigative Reporting, Scientific American, and ScienceNow. She has a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California Santa Cruz.