Searching for a needle in a haystack

Reports say Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 could have flown for hours after its last contact. Search is underway in the South China Sea, Strait of Malacca, Andaman Sea and Indian Ocean.

Just how difficult is it to find the 63.7m long plane in this vast area?

As our graphic shows, it is akin to searching for something the size of a 1.5-litre PET bottle in the whole of Singapore.

Click on the icons in the bottom left corner to zoom into and out of the map.