Hidden Beneath the Ocean’s Surface, Nearly 16 Million Tons of Microplastic

Our plastic bags seem to end up floating like waterlogged jellyfish in the sea.

Discarded bottles spoil pristine beaches around the world.

Now, scientists have a glimpse of what happens when tiny fragments of plastic break off and end up on the ocean floor.

In what researchers called the first such global estimate, Australia’s national science agency says that 9.25 million to 15.87 million tons of microplastics — fragments measuring between five millimeters and one micrometer — are embedded on the sea floor.

That is far more than on the ocean’s surface.

It is the equivalent of 18 to 24 shopping bags full of small plastic fragments for every foot of coastline on every continent except for Antarctica.

It is an issue that activists have long warned about even as the fight to clean up the ocean has focused largely on the eradication of single-use plastic products like shopping bags.

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Cygnus cargo ship delivers 4 tons of supplies to space station, including new zero-gravity toilet

A Northrop Grumman Cygnus supply ship wrapped up an automated rendezvous with the International Space Station early Monday, bringing 7,800 pounds of cargo the outpost including research materials, a redesigned “female-friendly” toilet and a high-resolution virtual reality camera.

Sailing high above Egypt and the Gulf of Suez, commander Chris Cassidy, operating the lab’s robot arm, locked onto a grapple fixture at the base of the Cygnus at 5:32 a.m. EDT, two-and-a-half days after its launch atop an Antares rocket from Wallops Island, Virginia.

Northrop Grumman names its cargo ships, and the latest honored astronaut Kalpana Chawla, who lost her life aboard the space shuttle Columbia.

Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo ship was captured by the International Space Station’s robot arm early Monday as the two spacecraft sailed high above the Middle East.


“In the name of space exploration, all have given some, some have given all,” Cassidy said after

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