Garbage patches are found in the calm, stable centers of many of the world's ocean gyres. Even smaller bodies of water, such as the Mediterranean and North Seas, are developing their own garbage patches along heavily trafficked shipping lanes.

Maps by Jamie Hawk, National Geographic

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ocean gyre
ocean gyre Encyclopedic Entry

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6 - 12 and up

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Geography, Science

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A gyre is a circular ocean current formed by the Earth's wind patterns and the forces created by the rotation of the planet

Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Great Pacific Garbage Patch Encyclopedic Entry

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7 - 12 and up

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Science

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The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a collection of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean. Marine debris is litter that ends up in the ocean, seas, and other large bodies of water.