Media floats false stories of Japanese tsunami debris

Some media outlets that should know better, and some who love to hype stuff, have both reported a massive debris field from the 2011 tsunami surging towards the US western shore. But, that’s wrong.


Federal officials say there is no island of debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami floating toward the United States.

Some media reports have warned of a Texas-sized island of wreckage, based on a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration map of tsunami debris.

But NOAA marine debris chief Nancy Wallace says that’s not true.

Examples: The UK’s Daily Mail Fail — “Island of debris the size of TEXAS from 2011 Japanese tsunami is headed straight for the U.S.” The UK Independent “The ‘toxic monster’ is coming! Texas-sized floating island containing one million tonnes of junk from Japan tsunami drifting towards US”. And even The Weather Channel: “Debris From Japan Tsunami Is Floating Toward The U.S. Coast”, not quite as dramatic but they all show a picture of debris taken right after the event. Not recently. At least The Weather Channel updated their piece with the NOAA statement.

This is the NOAA site for the Japanese debris with accurate info.

You can see reports of the debris locations here:

The debris fields seen immediately after the disaster no longer exist. Winds and ocean currents scattered items in the massive North Pacific Ocean to the point where debris is no longer visible from low-resolution satellite.

NOAA is coordinating interagency reporting and monitoring efforts that provide critical information on the location of the marine debris generated by the tsunami. Ships and beach-goers can report significant debris sightings to

To date, NOAA has received hundreds of debris reports, which are mapped for the public. Several of these items have been definitively traced back to the tsunami, typically by registration number or some other unique marking. However, marine debris is an everyday problem and not all debris found is from Japan.

This earthquake not only created incredible destruction but the fear of its aftermath lingers years later.

  1 comment for “Media floats false stories of Japanese tsunami debris

  1. Chris Howard
    November 11, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Will the killer, mutant, dogs be washing up on the US west coasts beaches, as well?!?

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