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The zone, which at about 5,000 square miles (13,000 sq km) is the second largest in the world but still smaller than in previous years, is so named because it contains no oxygen, or too little, at the Gulf floor to support bottom-dwelling fish and shrimp.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/dead-zone-in-the-gulf-of-mexico-is-the-size-of-connecticut/?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed