In June, a dock encrusted with barnacles and other sea life travelled 5,000 miles across the sea—from Japan, where it was set afloat by 2011’s tsunami, all the way to Oregon in the US. This story helped bring the problem of marine debris, including both large garbage and tiny microscopic plastic, to the public eye.

Learn more about marine debris and see our other top 10 stories of the year!

Photo courtesy of NOAA’s National Ocean Service

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