Researchers have discovered a mass of garbage floating in the ocean a thousand miles west of California and a thousand miles north of Hawaii.
The mass is made up of fishing gear, nets and buoys that are believed to have come from the 2011 tsunami that devastated parts of Japan. Since then, it has collected more detritus and has become so compact and large that researchers were able to stand on it in places.
“It’s 80 feet long. It’s about 30 feet across in some places. If you were looking down from above, it would look like an island floating in the middle of the ocean,” said Marita Francis, executive director of Algalita, a non-profit organization that studies plastic pollution.