WARNING: "The Great Pacific Waste Patch" is now as big as
the US and is
The Biggest Dump in the World!
EXLOPORATIONS: Inside the Plastic Vortex
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also described as the Pacific Trash Vortex, is a gyre of marine litter in the central North Pacific Ocean located roughly between 135° to 155°W and 35° to 42°N. Most current estimates state that it is larger than the U.S. state of Texas, with some estimates claiming that it is larger than the continental United States, however the exact size is not known.
The Patch is characterized by exceptionally high concentrations of pelagic plastics, chemical sludge, and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre. Despite its size and density, the patch is not visible from satellite photography since it primarily consists of suspended particulate in the upper water column. Since plastics break down to ever smaller polymers, concentrated particulate is not visible from space nor appears as a continuous debris field. Instead, the patch is defined as an area in which the mass of plastic debris in the upper water column is significantly higher than average.
The patch is not easily visible because it consists of very small pieces, almost invisible to the naked eye, most of its contents are suspended beneath the surface of the ocean, and the relatively low density of the plastic debris at, in one scientific study, 5.1 kilograms of plastic per square kilometer of ocean area.
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