About 15 years after first discovering the great Pacific garbage patch, Capt. Charles Moore returned in 2014 and discovered that semi-permanent islands…Read More »
made of ropes, buoys and other detritus were forming in the region. Less «
2 of 7
Here, an up-close look at the "Shark Island" (so named because of its appearance). Buoys, anchors and ropes washed to sea when the 2011 Japanese Tsunami…Read More »
inundated aquaculture boats may have formed the island, researchers hypothesize. Less «
3 of 7
Moore first discovered the trash while returning from a yacht race in 1997. Here, a gas tank bobs in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
4 of 7
In a new expedition, Moore's team has found plastic debris in places they didn't expect to.
5 of 7
Trawling for trash
Credit: Sea Education Association
A scientist on another expedition trawls for trash in the ocean.
6 of 7
Credit: Erik Zettler, SEA
Past research has found that a secret world of microbes and microorganisms lives on the plastic detritus in the ocean. Here, scientist Greg Boyd (from…Read More »
a separate expedition) shows the sea life that has colonized foam floats. Less «
7 of 7
A 2014 paper found that the ocean plastic is mysteriously disappearing, possibly because it is being carried deep into the ocean, like this trash bag found…Read More »
deep below an underwater canyon off the coast of Monterey, California. Less «
Science Newsletter: Subscribe
More from LiveScience
Tia has interned at Science News, Wired.com, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and has written for the Center for Investigative Reporting, Scientific American, and ScienceNow. She has a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California Santa Cruz. To find out what her latest project is, you can follow Tia on Twitter and Google+.