PHOTOS: Giant Ocean-Trash Vortex Documented--A First

PHOTOS: Vast Pacific Garbage Patch Documented--A First
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A researcher in the Eastern Pacific Ocean Patch in August 2009 holds some of the many plastic bottles that have been "recycled" into homes by marine animals.

"Almost every large piece of plastic debris had a community of gooseneck barnacles or small [ocean-going] crabs, and smaller fish beneath it like rainbow runners or baby yellowtail," SEAPLEX member Jesse Powell said.

"The fact that there are all these mini [plastic] island ecosystems floating out there right now, each with its own predatory inhabitants, may have some sort of implications for the food web."
—Photograph courtesy Scripps Institution of Oceanography
 
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