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.
Photo composite courtesy Chris Jordan