There is a very large mass swirling in the North Pacific gyre that originated in Japan. This is the debris remnants taken out into the ocean by strong waves which resulted from the earthquake and tsunami on Japan’s northeast coast just one year ago.
I first wrote about gyres – Gyres, Super-gyres, and Australian Rainfall – to describe these massive engines that swirl throughout the world’s oceans. They not only circulate ocean currents as part of the oceanic conveyor network, but it is this circulation that also grinds and distributes debris for organisms to consume.
Japan does not use the ocean as a repository for its trash. Nearly, the entire town of Fukushima was destroyed by the convergence of two very strong natural forces. Since last March, debris from that devastation has been moving away from Japan towards the Northwest coast of North America. Some of this may soon land upon shores of Hawaii. Scientists who have been tracking this mass believe that contact will be made sometime in 2013.
Then, returning ocean currents will begin to transport the mass back towards Japan.
The following link and video: Japan Tsunami Debris: Information and FAQs from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides a current view of its path and timeline.
Although nature tries very hard, there is only so much an ocean can do to make everything appear normal.