Families on beach vacations in England, combing beaches for shells have been finding unique surprises to add to their keepsakes: Legos.
In 1997, the Tokio Express, a ship carrying 62 containers of Legos headed for New York caught a large wave and dumped its 4.8 million Lego pieces into the ocean, just 20 miles from Land’s End in Cornwall, England. And just for a touch of irony: most of the Lego pieces were nautical- themed.
Today the pieces are still washing ashore in England, but also in Ireland and Wales.
The finding of Lego pieces in Cornwall has become a part of the culture there as a competition, of sorts.
A local in Cornwall, Tracey Williams has created a Facebook page dedicated to documenting the finding of Lego pieces.Her page, "Lego Lost at Sea" documents her findings and encourages others to post their findings.
"These days the holy grail is an octopus or a dragon," Williams told BBC. "I only know of three octopuses being found, and one was by me, in a cave in Challaborough, Devon. It's quite competitive. If you heard that your neighbor had found a green dragon, you'd want to go out and find one yourself."
Now Williams is working with BBC to draw up a map of all the beaches where Legos related to the incident have been found so far.
According to U.S. oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer (in an interview with BBC), the Lego pieces could have drifted 62,000 miles since being dumped in the ocean in 1997. Since it's 24,000 miles around the Equator, it's possible the Lego pieces could be on any beach in the world.