A Premiere Daily Highlight Story: Sometimes there are stories that are just too amazing and note-worthy to keep locked away. That’s why we scour the archives and bring some of them back to experience again. They may surprise you, make you smile, or even shed a tear, but they’re always meant to add a little extra to your day.
Microplastics are tiny bits of plastic that pollute the environment. They’re typically less than 5mm in length. They enter the ecosystem via several different sources including sewage treatment plants, cosmetics industries, car and truck tires, clothing, and plastic water bottles. Research has shown that there are several harmful potential effects on the environment from these microplastics.
“The plastic age”
The degradation of plastic is a slow process that can take up to thousands of years. This increases the odds of microplastics being ingested and accumulated within a host of various organisms. Their small sizes enable them to escape water filtration systems. Then they end up polluting waterways. 
EcoWatch reported that human beings also unwittingly ingest them. Recent studies showed that humans ingest over 50,000 microplastics yearly. That number is increased in people who drink bottled water a lot.
The incredibly tiny size of these microplastics has given scientists a hard time trying to figure out a way to remove them from the environment.
A brief introduction of the boy genius
In September 2019, Google Science Fair challenged teenagers from around the world to solve a problem they care about using science technology, engineering, and math. 
Irish teenager Fionn Ferreira came up with a brilliant, novel idea for removing microplastics from oceans: use a magnetic liquid to attract the microplastics to themselves.
Eighteen-year-old Fionn from Ballydehob, West Cork, Southern Ireland is a genius. He proved that at the Google International Headquarters in Mountain View California when he won the grand prize in March 2019. He has previously won 12 science awards. The MIT Lincoln Laboratory named a minor planet after him due to his achievements at the 2018 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. He speaks three languages fluently. He will be attending the University of Groningen Netherlands where he will most likely continue to achieve great feats. 
Victory and a breakthrough
Out of 100 shortlisted entries, 24 global finalists were selected. Fionn Ferreira emerged as the winner. He took home the grand prize of a $50,000 bursary and educational funding for his invention.
How it all started
He was inspired to work on this project after finding an oil-covered rock around his town in South West Ireland. He saw there were tiny pieces of plastic stuck to the oil. It got him thinking about how like attracts like in chemistry. He wondered if ferrofluid would recreate the same result with plastic since plastic and oil stick together.