2015 February


Oooh, ahhh, baby do the North Pacific Gyre!

Oooh, ahhh, baby do the North Pacific Gyre!

What does it say about me as a citizen of earth that I’m actually a little disappointed that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch isn’t a great, undulating mound of water bottles sprinkled with bowling balls and coolers full of drug money that you can walk around on like the best garage sale ever?  I mean, if we’re going to pollute the crap out of the ocean, it may as well be a fun place to hang out.  A post-apocalyptic flotilla of weird trash-a-marans surrounding a giant windmill made of fishing net and produce bags, powering Elon Musk’s futuristic self-sustaining recycling plant that provides the base for a tiny economy of black market traders, pirates, and climate researchers, all drinking together in an underwater tavern on the weekends.

In the interest of science, and to try to be like XKCD’s What If blog, I did some math to convert the annual use of plastic microbeads from cosmetics into an imginable chunk.  Somehow, I thought it would be the size of the Empire State Building, but according to my calculations, each year in the US people flush enough microbeads into the rivers, lakes, and oceans to build a cube six and a half meters on a side.  Still, that’s, what… I dunno.  A big cube.  It would fit 561 horses inside.  I had to have a discussion with my coworker about the volume of liquid horses just now… you’re welcome.

Read about it on Wikipedia: Great_Pacific_garbage_patch

By Eric on February 17, 2015 | Uncategorized | A comment?