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Watch: Surfer Kelly Slater rides a man-made wave

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Jesus walked on water. Moses parted the sea.

And pro surfer Kelly Slater? While not a prophet, he has literally made waves.

Well, he did it with some help, of course.

Slater announced on Instagram Friday that he and his team of scientists and engineers have designed and successfully built a prototype of "truly world-class, high-performance, human-made waves."

The project came to fruition after 10 years in the making, he said.

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"Through rigorous science and technology, we’ve been able to design and build what some said was impossible, and many very understandably never thought would actually happen," he said.

The details of the project will be revealed over time, but Slater shared the initial news with a video of him riding the first wave prototype, which was filmed two weeks ago.

Watch it below:

(Mobile users can click here to watch it on Slater's website.)

More than 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the world's oceans

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About 5.25 trillion — that's a conservative estimate of just how many pieces of plastic are swirling around the world's oceans, from microscopic fragments, to giant islands of trash. And they're not going away anytime soon. (Video via National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

That's 700 times the number of humans estimated to live on the planet, and there's no part of the ocean that's completely unaffected. 

Want more big numbers? All that plastic trash is estimated to weigh just under 270,000 tons -- about as much as either 38,000 full-grown elephants, 157,000 Volkswagen beetles or just under 7 billion coffee lids.

Those numbers come from a paper the 5 Gyres Institute released Wednesday after six years of surveying some 1,500 locations across all the world's oceans. 

The institute gathered samples with mesh nets and conducted a visual survey under the leadership of the institute's research director Marcus Eriksen. (Video via 5 Gyres)

Eriksen told The Washington Post, "What we are witnessing in the global ocean is a growing threat of toxin-laden microplastics cycling through the entire marine ecosystem." 

Microplastics are tiny fragments of plastic less than 5 mm in length that can easily be swept along ocean currents and often carry toxins or foreign microbes and other organisms to nonnative environments. (Video via Stichting De Noordzee)

Because they're so small and the plastic is so durable, microplastics present a long-term threat to ocean ecosystems across the globe. 

While those microplastics can be virtually invisible in the water, the largest concentrations of trash often get swept up in the five major gyres — ocean currents that move in circular patterns in each of the world's oceans. (Video via One World One Ocean)

Those gyres can sometimes produce large islands of trash, although phenomena like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch are usually just patches of ocean with higher concentrations of debris and not physical landmasses. (Video via Grassroots News)

The study's authors say the estimates on the number and weight of plastics in the ocean are highly conservative and are actually probably the minimum. 

This video includes an image from Lindsey Hoshaw / CC BY 2.0.

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