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Lego has been washing ashore on a UK beach for seventeen years

File photo courtesy: Wikipedia

File photo courtesy: Wikipedia


Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 8:35 AM - On February 13, 1997, a shipping container holding nearly five million pieces of Lego fell into the sea after being hit by a wave. Since then, countless pieces of the plastic toys have showed up along the shores of Perren Sands, UK, providing scientists with new insight into how ocean tides function.

The incident took place at Land's end. Not long after, pieces of Lego began washing up about 100 kilometres away on the north and south coasts of Cornwall -- and they haven't stopped since.

Strangely enough, many of the Lego bits are nautical themed.

Resident Tracy Williams, who runs a Facebook page chronicling the Lego discoveries, tells the BBC that the Lego bits have become something of an attraction and the "Holy Grail" of finds is a Lego octopus or dragon.


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"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 neighbour had found a green dragon, you'd want to go out and find one yourself," she told the news agency.

Oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmever believes that ocean currents have taken the Lego bits around the world, with the majority of them washing up in Cornwall.

He says that since the 1997 incident, some Lego bits may have traveled 100,000 kilometres -- meaning they could wind up on almost any beach on Earth.

Others, in theory, could continue to ride ocean currents for centuries.

With files from the BBC

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