The Strangest Things To Wash Up On Beaches
What would you do if you went to the beach for a nice day of sunbathing, and instead you found a bunch of shoes all over the beach. No where to sit….just a beach covered in shoes. Sounds like one of those crazy dreams we all have from time to time. Only, it’s not a crazy dream. It’s real life. International shipments by sea don’t always go so smoothly. It’s very easy for them to lose some of their cargo due to weather conditions, or simply accidents or miscalculations. Thus, here are the strangest things to have washed up to shore…
Bananas washed up on shore.
In 2007, residents of the Dutch North Sea island of Terschelling, located 70 miles north of Amsterdam, went bananas (literally) when thousands of bananas washed ashore after at least six containers of the fruit fell off a cargo ship in a storm and at least one burst open, according to USA Today. Bunches of the unripe fruit from Cuba also washed up on neighboring Amerland Island. It isn’t clear what happened to the bananas that littered the beach, although at the time, residents suggested sending most of the fruit to local zoos.
Sneakers wash up on shore.
Also on the Netherlands’ Terschelling Island, which has become a beachcombers’ paradise, thousand of sneakers washed up on the beach in February 2006 when containers from the P&O Nedlloyd ship ‘Mondriaan’ fell out to the sea after getting caught in a storm. Residents of the island rushed to get the sneakers, but were faced with having to search for shoes in their size, according to the BBC. Other items that washed up on the beach included children’s toys and briefcases.
Giant Lego man washes ashore.
Images of beached whales and “sea monsters” washed ashore go viral, but the sight of the giant Lego man washed up in Zandvoort, Netherlands (in 2007), Brighton Beach in England (in 2008) and Siesta Key Beach in Florida (in 2011) became a global sensation. The 8-foot tall Lego figure, which weighed about 100 pounds, featured a bright-green torso emblazoned with the message “No Real Than You Are.” On its back appeared the numeral “8” and the words “Ego Leonard.” The mysterious figure had the locals of Sarasota County, Fla. scratching their heads, but it was later revealed that “Ego Leonard” was the alter ego of a Dutch artist, ABC News reported. After the Florida sighting, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office joined in the fun and issued a press release saying it had taken the giant Lego man “into protective custody.” In response, numerous “Free Lego Man” Facebook pages and campaigns popped up on the Internet.
Giant squid was ashore.
Was calamari on the menu? In September 2005, hundreds of giant squid, weighing as much as 17 pounds, washed up in Newport Beach. Calif. The bug-eyed creatures, believed to Humboldt squid, normally reside in deep water, so it was rare for locals to encounter them on land or sea, according to USA Today. Authorities said the squid might have been pursuing bait fish and gotten too close to shore. Other factors, such as warm ocean temperatures or record rainfall were also suspected.
Whale washes ashore
In 2011, local photographers flocked to the beach at San Rossore Park near Pisa, Italy for a shot of the 25-meter-long dead whale that washed ashore. Reports state that the employees of the San Rossore protected area and the port authority later removed the carcass.
Algae washes ashore
Qingdao, China went green (really green) when huge amounts of green algae washed up onto its beaches in May 2012. The coastline of Qingdao, in China’s Shandong provice, was taken over by a breakout of algae bloom (or “green tide”), which spread in waters off China’s east coastline. Although the green algae is not toxic, it can consume large amounts of oxygen, threatening marine life, according to the Telegraph. Qingdao was previously hit by green algae in 2007 and 2008 and residents and soldiers had to remove tens of thousands of tons of it.
rubber ducky, you’re the one!
Perhaps one of the most famous container spills in history involved the 28,000 rubber duck toys that tumbled into the sea in January 1992. Inspiring a book titled “Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them” by Donovan Hohn, the great rubber ducky spill occurred when a shipping create on a cargo ship headed to the U.S. from China fell overboard onto the Pacific Ocean during one stormy night. Some of the rubber ducks (nicknamed “Friendly Floatees”) have since washed up on the shores of Alaska, Hawaii, South America, Australia and the Pacific Northwest. Some have traveled 17,000 miles, floating over the site where the Titanic sank or spending years frozen in an Arctic ice pack, according to the Daily Mail. Some 2,000 of the rubber ducks, which have helped researchers chart ocean currents, are still circulating in the currents of the North Pacific Gyre, a vortex of currents which stretches between Japan, southeast Alaska, Kodiak and the Aleutian Island, according to the Mother Nature Network.
Shipping containers wash up on shore.
In January 2012, huge shipping containers from a distressed cargo vessel stranded off the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island washed up on one of the country’s most popular beaches, according to the Wall Street Journal. Up to 300 containers were reportedly tossed overboard when six-meter waves struck the ship. People were warned against looting, but both locals and tourists flocked to the beaches to take photos of the giant containers.
Sports related items wash ashore.
Alaskan sports memorabilia fans may have rejoiced when, in May 2012, dozens of sports fly swatters washed up on the beaches of Kodiak, Alaska. The fly swatters, emblazoned with logos of collegiate and professional sports teams were sighted by more than 70 people, according to the Associated Press. Originally believed to be debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami, the items were actually from a shipping container that got loose from a ship carrying products from China. The container went overboard when the vessel carrying it encountered dangerous weather in the Gulf of Alaska. Other sports-related items, such as Nerf balls and water bottles were also found on Kodiak’s beaches.
Tea washes ashore.
Tea time? Hundreds of tea packets washed ashore in Rajbandar in the Raigad district, Maharashtra, India on August 2010 after nine containers from the cargo ship MSC Chitra spilled into the sea. Local fishermen and villagers set out to collect packets of tea and biscuits, many swimming in oil from the damaged cargo ship, which suffered a collision with another ship, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Hundreds of Manta Rays wash ashore.
In February 2013, more than 200 Manta rays washed up along the beaches in Gaza City, delighting local fishermen, who carted them off to markets, according to the New York Daily News. Manta rays are one of the largest living fish, they can measure up to 23 feet, and can be found in temperate, tropical water throughout the world’s oceans. Scientists were unable to explain why the rays were washed ashore but have speculated that they may have been struck by a boat or left disoriented by noise or electrical signals, according to the Daily Mirror.
I don’t think is should be in the list, but it is. Piano that didn’t actually wash ashore.
Did it or did it not wash up in Miami? A grand piano was found on a sandbar in Biscayne Bay on January 26, 2011, mysteriously charred from being burned. Although its origins were not known, many speculated that the heavy musical instrument was part of a music video production. It was later revealed that the “junk art installation” was the brainchild of a 16-year-old hoping to use the piece for a college application, according to ABC News.
What are some of your odd findings at the beach? Do they beat these? Share with friends!