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May 9, 2013
Much ink has been spilled on this blog about the Garbage Patch, which collectively refers to five massive oceanic gyres filled with pelagic plastics, chemical sludge and other human detritus trapped by currents. Seeking to call attention to the phenomenon, the United Nations recently granted the Garbage Patch statehood, immediately replacing Somalia as the world’s least desirable tourist destination.
The new nation doesn’t have an embassy or even a rudimentary form of government, but it does have a Facebook page, which is being used to disseminate facts like the country’s “population” of 36,939 tons of garbage, that it was discovered in 1989 and that it covers an area of 15,915,933 square meters. The Garbage Patch State also has a flag, which is wavy and blue to evoke the ocean it floats upon. The larger goal, of course, is to raise awareness about the dire environmental hazard posed by the Garbage Patch, prodding people to change their behavior to prevent it from growing.
None of which should stop the Garbage Patch from making its bid to host the next Olympics.
Source: UNESCO via NPR’s “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me”
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