PHOTOS: Artist "Runs the Numbers" of Big Ocean Threats

PHOTOS: Artist
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"Gyre," 2009

You'd be forgiven for mistaking this picture for "The Great Wave at Kanagawa" by 19th-century Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai.

But it's a photomosaic released just in time for Earth Day by artist Chris Jordan. The 11-foot-wide (3.4-meter-wide) digital collage of photos shows 2.4 million pieces of plastic--equivalent in pounds to the amount of plastic trash that enters the oceans every hour, according to Jordan.

The artwork is from Jordan's Running the Numbers II, a series that visualizes the massive, difficult-to-imagine numbers of the world's consumption and waste. His earlier Running the Numbers, now a book, showed U.S.-only statistics, such as the number of cups used on airplane flights every hour (reportedly a million) and the number of breast augmentations performed (32,000 monthly, Jordan says). The sequel covers global statistics, as in these images on threats to the marine life.

--Chris Combs
—Photo composite courtesy Chris Jordan
 
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