Recent reports suggested an island of debris the size of Texas was floating toward North America, but NOAA officials were quick to set the record straight.
"At this point, nearly three years after the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, whatever debris remains floating is very spread out," NOAA officials said. "It is spread out so much that you could fly a plane over the Pacific Ocean and not see any debris, since it is spread over a huge area, and most of the debris is small, hard-to-see objects."
NOAA has been tracking the debris since 2011, and the agency recently updated its models to include the effects of wind on the debris, which vary depending on the material and how much of the object's surface is above water.
But there are still many unknowns surrounding where all that stuff will end up, and when pieces of debris may arrive on American shores.
"This new modeling effort gives us a better understanding of where the debris may have traveled to date, but it does not predict where it will go in the future or how fast it will drift," NOAA officials wrote in an update. "The new model takes into account that wind may move items at different speeds based on how high or low materials sit in the water."