You ever drink Genny Cream Ale from the barnacly husk of a quahog shell?

Ever sip curried sherry from a demogorgon snifter?

You ever find yourself within the hollowed out mast of a baobab tree, sampling the fermented delicacies of it’s cavitied wine bar?

 

You ever drink Jamaican rum, bellied up to a bar lashed into a pile of driftwood, cleated to stilts a mile offshore of the Jamaican coastline?? Never been to Floyd’s Pelican Bar?? Is it still a “beach bar” if it floats in the middle of the ocean? What is it then? It isn’t quite an oceanic gyre, but it’s close, and hey since discarded bottles aren’t hitting sand, maybe there are a thousand tiny gyres floating out into the unknown. Oh, what’s a gyre? It’s pretty wild, actually. Let’s open it up…

There is a massive gyre swirling around the Pacific Ocean, known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch… a collection of marine debris (that) spans the waters from the West Coast of North America to Japan,” according to National Geographic. The “gyre” is the circular ocean current swirling around, pooling all the debris together. The center of the gyre “tends to be very calm and stable (and) the circular motion of the gyre draws debris into this stable center, where it becomes trapped,” according to NatGeo. The Atlantic and Indian oceans also have garbage-patch-gyres, but they aren’t as big as the one in the Pacific.

Fun fact about the Great Pacific Gyre: While there are scientific estimates of the size of it (roughly seven tons of garbage, twice the size of texas, and up to nine feet deep), no one know exactly how large it is, or how much plastic waste it is made up of. It’s “too large for scientists to trawl”. Trawl? Trawl (v.): to fish with a trawl net or seine. Scientists say that not all of the trash floats because some of it is slightly denser, allowing it to sink just beneath the surface. They say a majority (80%) of the plastic waste comes from land, while the remaining comes from offshore oil rigs, cargo ships, and boaters.

Another fun fact: Since the gigantic garbage patch is floating in international waters, no country will claim it. This means no one is responsible for paying for the clean up.

 

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