Everything is Awesome: How Lego Sails the Seas

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Lego octopus found in a cave in South Devon in the late 1990s.
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In 1997, nearly five million nautical-themed Legos fell into the sea when a huge wave hit the container ship Tokio Express, washing 62 containers overboard—and they’ve been showing up on the beaches of Cornwall, England ever since.

American Oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer has been following these Legos over time. He's been combing beaches—he's tracked the paths of rubber ducks, found messages in bottles, and even stumbled across the occasional human skeleton.

Today, he explains how these Legos got misplaced.

Daisies among the debris...
Daisies among the debris... ( Tracey Williams )
( Tracey Williams )
A piece of Lego sea grass.
A piece of Lego sea grass. ( Tracey WIlliams )
A scuba tank, diver flipper and daisy, all from the container of Lego that fell off the Tokio Express back in 1997.
A scuba tank, diver flipper and daisy, all from the container of Lego that fell off the Tokio Express back in 1997. ( Tracey Williams )
These Lego dragons washed up in Bigbury on Sea, South Devon, England in the late 1990s.
These Lego dragons washed up in Bigbury on Sea, South Devon, England in the late 1990s. ( Tracey Williams )
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