The Great Pacific Garbage Patch: Floating Heap of Debris Twice the Size of Texas!

In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, somewhere between San Francisco and Hawaii, there is a floating heap of debris the size of a continent!

In reality, the rogue bag would float into a sewer, follow the storm drain to the ocean, then make its way to the so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch - a heap of debris floating in the Pacific that's twice the size of Texas, according to marine biologists.

The enormous stew of trash - which consists of 80 percent plastics and weighs some 3.5 million tons, say oceanographers - floats where few people ever travel, in a no-man's land between San Francisco and Hawaii.

Marcus Eriksen, director of research and education at the Algalita Marine Research Foundation in Long Beach, said his group has been monitoring the Garbage Patch for 10 years.

"With the winds blowing in and the currents in the gyre going circular, it's the perfect environment for trapping," Eriksen said. "There's nothing we can do about it now, except do no more harm."

The patch has been growing, along with ocean debris worldwide, tenfold every decade since the 1950s, said Chris Parry, public education program manager with the California Coastal Commission in San Francisco.

Link - Thanks Aar000n! (Photo: Kat Wade / Chronicle)

You too, Tim? If there really was a continent-sized garbage heap floating around, you'd think we would have heard about it before now. And it would definitely show up on Google Earth.
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This story is a lie.

If anyone wants to prove me wrong, I dare anyone to get anyone currently floating around in the SPACE STATION to video tape such a huge thing. If it really is twice the size of Texas, then they should be able to spot it quite easily.

Note: It is not up to ME to prove to everyone this story is false. It is up to Justin Berton to prove to everyone this story is true.
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I've heard about these things before... ThisAmericanLife did a story a while back, and my first instinct was to see it on google earth... but they only use data supplied by governments.

Oh, and Alex, Brooks Brothers is America's oldest men's clothier.
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To all of the people doubting this...

I don't think it's a solid mass of trash, and that's why you won't see it from space. I've heard that it's basically a lot of trash spread out over that area.

I too have my doubts about the size of it. I'm guessing it's somewhere around the size of Texas at max. This didn't just come out of no where, so there's something out there.
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From wikipedia:
"Some sources [Neatorama!] have incorrectly reported that there is a "floating continent" of debris that is roughly twice the size of Texas, however no scientific investigation [...] has verified this"

"In samples taken from the gyre in 2001, the mass of [biodegrading] plastic exceeded that of zooplankton by a factor of six"

And an intersting movie.
(really starts @5:00)
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I've heard of this before, although I would want more proof of the exact size.

Maybe with the rising price of oil, it will one day be profitable to clean it up and recycle it. And it might take that long till someone does it too.
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If this were anything more than hype and scare tactics, there would be hi-res pictures and video. Such would be trivial to obtain given the bajillions of dollars "Green" research gets nowadays.

If anything, there may be a section of the Pacific which has a higher than normal amount of debris.

Its stories like these that are turning people off of the "green movement". Environmentalists' hyperbole is just like the Boy Who Cried Wolf.
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Ooooo! They've got an "animation" of it! Well gee, that makes it true then!

Oh hey, I've just found an "animation" of Greenpeace leaders clubbing baby seals for their blubber! That means it's true too, right?
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The area that's twice the size of Texas is the actual Gyre where all the flotsam ends up. The trash doesn't clump together like floating island of debris. The article really makes it sound like it though.
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I know you are only finding these stories, and posting them. I would however only consider it true if there were hard core factual evidence. How come a Ship can't go there and prove it's there by using every media outlet. Also, if Greenpeace says it's there and all they have is an animation to prove it, then Homer Simpson must also be real, and physically exist in human form.
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It's exceedingly sparse. Wikipedia reports a mean mass of 5.1 kg per square kilometer. At that rate you probably wouldn't even notice if you swam through it.
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This might help you understand what the problem is.

Krimmeny people, do some research before you make up your mind. The article gives you a great place to start, the Algalita Marine Research Foundation webpage perhaps?

The plastic doesn't have to be surficial to be there.
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You cant see this because its under water watch this documenty

All you people are all so negitive, jesus christ you piss me off especially SoftwareSamurai
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I agree, do some research. The patch is not just huge heap of garbage floating around. Most of the plastic is photodegradable (breaks down in sunlight) and over time it collects in the middle of oceanic gyres and resembles a soupy, plastic-goop. It is true, and unfortunately there is nothing we can do about it either. Wake up people, we need to appreciate the fact that we have gone totally overboard with our planet. I suppose you wouldn't believe that Americans consume over 2,000,000 plastic beverage bottles EVERY 5 MINUTES either. If you want even more depressing figures, check out this guys' artwork:
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I'm not convinced of the claims of man made climate change. I think its a big scam that special interest groups (like Al Gores bank account) promotes for financial gain while ignoring real threats to our planet like the great pacific garbage patch. All consumer plastic bags, jugs, and bottles can be replaced with biodegradable eco friendly ones made out of corn. Why didn't the world leaders at the recent failed climate summit address this problem since it's something that can be done as there are already companies producing bottles made from biodegradable corn. At least that would help slow the growth and poisoning of the ocean.
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PS: To all of the skeptical people who ask why haven't we heard about this before and why doesn't it show up on Google Earth and satellite photos do a little research and you see why. A good place to start is:

Below is the first paragraph from that page.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also described as the Eastern Garbage Patch or 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 and estimated to be twice the size of Texas.[1] The patch is characterized by exceptionally high concentrations of suspended plastic 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 because it consists of very small pieces, almost invisible to the naked eye [2] and most of its contents are suspended beneath the surface of the ocean. [3]
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