Pacific Ocean

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The Cocaine Saved Them. Then It Got Them Busted

Suspected drug smugglers found clinging to bales in Pacific after boat overturns

(Newser) - They can thank their drug bundles for both saving their lives and possibly ruining them. ABC Australia reports that three men from Colombia were plucked out of the Pacific over the weekend after spending hours in shark-filled waters. The alleged drug-runners, who were said by authorities to have departed from... More »

Investor Says Ocean Cleaning Boom Is Working

He plans to send another system to Pacific plastic patch

(Newser) - After a series of setbacks, a system for catching plastic floating in the Pacific between California and Hawaii is now working, its Dutch inventor says. Boyan Slat, a university dropout who founded the Ocean Cleanup nonprofit, announced Wednesday that the floating boom is skimming up waste ranging in size from... More »

Huge Raft of Pumice Is Floating in the Ocean

It rose up from a volcano, and might end up helping the Great Barrier Reef

(Newser) - Australia's Great Barrier Reef is in trouble , but the ocean itself might be sending some slow-moving relief. An enormous floating island of pumice is headed toward Australia, and it could deliver new marine life to the endangered reef, reports CNN . The odd development is the result of an underwater... More »

In Wild Video, Coast Guard Member Leaps Onto Drug Sub

'This is as satisfying as it gets'

(Newser) - Stunning video shows just how far the US Coast Guard will go to stop suspected drug smugglers. The minute-long video released Thursday shows a member of the US Coast Guard Cutter Munro jumping onto a semi-submersible vessel carrying 17,000 pounds of cocaine worth $232 million in the East Pacific... More »

WWII Aircraft Carrier Found After 77 Years

USS Hornet took part in Battle of Midway

(Newser) - The USS Hornet aircraft carrier had an extremely busy year and six days in service, taking part in key World War II events in the Pacific including the Battle of Midway and the Doolittle Raid before being sunk by Japanese forces in the Battle of Santa Cruz Island on Oct.... More »

Swimmer Ends 'Very Disturbing' Journey

Benoit Lecomte has a message for the world

(Newser) - A swimmer's record-breaking effort may be on hold, but his warning endures: There's way too much plastic out there. Benoît "Ben" Lecomte set foot on Oahu, Hawaii on Monday, conclusively ending his dream of being the first swimmer to cross the Pacific Ocean, per CNN . A... More »

World's Oldest Known Wild Bird Will Make All Other Moms Genuflect

Baby No. 37 is on its way for Wisdom the albatross, 68

(Newser) - Dear tired moms of the world: Meet Wisdom, whose dozens of young ones are about to gain another sibling. The Guardian notes that while it may indeed seem "preposterous" for a 68-year-old human to still be having kids, it's apparently different for some birds, including this Laysan albatross... More »

'Insurmountable Blow' Ends Attempt to Swim the Pacific

Ben Lecomte abandons his trans-Pacific attempt

(Newser) - A French-American man has given up his attempt to be the first to swim across the Pacific Ocean after a storm broke the mainsail of his support ship, organizers said Monday. Ben Lecomte, who had completed about 1,500 nautical miles of the more than 5,000-mile journey, called the... More »

Swimmer Begins Record Japan-California Attempt

Frenchman plans to swim 8 hours a day

(Newser) - Ben Lecomte has set off from Japan in an effort to swim to California, undaunted by sharks, low temperatures, fierce weather, a gigantic garbage patch—and the fact that nobody has even swum across the Pacific before. But the 51-year-old Frenchman has the right experience to attempt the record-breaking open-water... More »

San Diego Surf Turns Electric Blue

Dinoflagellates have arrived in droves

(Newser) - Ocean waves north of San Diego look quite a bit bluer than usual this week. Beginning Monday, a 20-mile stretch of California coastline from Encinitas to La Jolla took on what CNN calls an "electric blue glow" as tiny bioluminescent creatures moved in. Despite sharing his own photos with... More »

This Is a Turtle on Drugs*

*Or rather trapped by a pile of cocaine, as Coast Guard saves the day in international waters

(Newser) - Coast Guard officials on a recent patrol managed to arrest 24 suspected smugglers—and save a life. While patrolling in international waters near Central America, officials came across a sea turtle entangled in ropes connected to floating contraband, later identified as 1,800 pounds of cocaine, according to a release... More »

Island Was to Disappear in Months. It's Now Been 3 Years

NASA hopes it will give insights into Martian volcanoes

(Newser) - When an ash island formed in the Pacific Ocean following an underwater volcanic eruption in late 2014, scientists predicted it would soon disappear. Over the next six months, the island nestled between two others of the Tonga nation experienced heavy erosion, but "then it leveled off," NASA scientist... More »

'Terror on the High Seas': the Coast Guard's Floating Prisons

Fishermen carrying drugs from South America detained on US vessels for days or weeks

(Newser) - Seth Freed Wessler wrote a story last week for the New York Times that he describes to PRI as one of "real terror … on the high seas": what amounts to "floating Guantanamos" in the Pacific, Coast Guard cutters sent far from US shores to bust smugglers trying... More »

Navy Plane Crashes in Pacific With 11 Aboard

It was on its way to aircraft carrier near Japan

(Newser) - In what is believed to be another fatal accident for the 7th Fleet, a Navy plane with 11 passengers and crew on board crashed into the Pacific Ocean Wednesday. The C-2 Greyhound was on its way to the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier. Japan's defense minister, Itsunori Onodera, said... More »

More Holes in Story of 2 Women Lost at Sea

Shark experts say tiger sharks wouldn't ram a boat for hours

(Newser) - Two women from Hawaii who were rescued after being lost at sea are defending their account of the ordeal, even as the inconsistencies build. Tuesday brought news of their decision not to turn on the emergency beacon they had on board—they reportedly said they didn't do so because... More »

The Possibly 'World-Changing' Move Kim Could Make Next

North's foreign minister says they could detonate hydrogen bomb over Pacific Ocean

(Newser) - Tensions between the US and North Korea continue to escalate. First the leader of the former threatened to wipe out the latter . Then Kim Jong Un followed up by calling Trump a "mentally deranged US dotard," and Trump capped that off with a new warning Friday, tweeting that... More »

Al Gore Is the First Citizen of the 'Trash Isles'

Activists want garbage patch to be new country

(Newser) - Campaigners want a vast area of floating garbage in the ocean to be the world's newest country—and they've already got more would-be citizens than some real countries. Al Gore is on board as the first honorary citizen of the "Trash Isles," which is what activists... More »

8 Cyclones Were Swirling at Same Time in Pacific

That hasn't happened in more than 40 years

(Newser) - The northern Pacific Ocean experienced some weather weirdness over the weekend: It had no fewer than eight tropical cyclones swirling simultaneously on Saturday, the first time that's happened since 1974, reports the Weather Channel . For the record, that encompasses tropical storms Fernanda, Greg, Noru, Kulap, and Roke, plus tropical... More »

In Deepest Part of Ocean, 'Sky High' Pollution

Toxic chemicals reach 6 miles deep in ocean: study

(Newser) - At the deepest spot in the ocean, scientists have found beer cans, plastic bags, a tin of Spam, and now tiny crustaceans contaminated with toxic chemicals banned nearly 50 years ago. The "extraordinary levels" of pollution in the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean and the Kermadec Trench... More »

Puffins Are Starving to Death in Incredible Numbers

And that's a bad sign for all animal life in the Bering Sea

(Newser) - Dead puffins are washing up on the shores of an island in the Bering Sea at an alarming rate, National Geographic reports. "In 10 years of monitoring, we've only seen six puffins wash in—total," a professor who coordinates a West Coast volunteer bird-monitoring network says. In... More »

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