Picture a young sea lion — let's call him Joey — taking an afternoon swim along the coast of Alaska and coming upon a long, shiny plastic loop.

Of course, Joey doesn't know the loop is plastic. All he knows is that he's never seen something like this wriggling through the water before, and he'd love to play with it.  

"Sea lions are curious and playful creatures by nature," explains Sue Goodglick, a wildlife biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game program that studies and tracks Steller sea lions like Joey. So, she says, when they come across plastic objects like this, they usually like to play with it.

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Heroes

This is what it looks like when a piece of coral dies.

GIF via Netflix/Exposure Labs/YouTube, from the film "Chasing Coral."

This is a phenomenon known as coral bleaching, now captured in the award-winning documentary "Chasing Coral." To get these impressive shots, a team of photographers, divers, and scientists traveled the world to capture time-lapse photographs of coral bleaching events.

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Heroes

If you came face to face with the shark from "Jaws," what would you do?

Swim away? Splash the police chief? Find a bigger boat? I imagine it'd be a pretty heart-pounding encounter — one that any sensible person would be eager to escape.

What would make someone not only get close to that shark but actually grab hold of it — then drop it into a public swimming pool?

On Monday, Sept. 11, beachgoers at Australia's Manly Beach, just north of Sydney, were stunned after a nearly six-foot-long great white shark washed up on the sand right next to them.

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