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Trend Watch

Flotsam

As the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 continues ...


When:

Lookups spiked on March 26, 2014.

flotsam-indian-ocean-missing-malaysia-airlines-flight-370
Photo: amsa.gov

Why:

Investigators have said many times that flotsam in the Indian Ocean is responsible for false leads in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Recent photos taken by satellite and aircraft show some debris that may be from the missing plane. However, as Wired reported on Friday:

None of the aircraft or ships in the region have found anything of note, and officials said the photos may reveal nothing more than whitecaps or the flotsam so often found at sea.

Flotsam means "floating wreckage from a ship or its cargo" or "floating debris." It comes from the French verb meaning "to float." Flotsam is often contrasted with jetsam, a word derived from jettison that means "floating objects that are thrown into the water from a ship."



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