The Daily Mail of the UK brings us this story: “Thousands of rubber ducks to land on British shores after 15 year journey”. Apparently in 1992 a container filled with plastic bath toys fell off a ship shortly after leaving China. 15 years and over 15,000 miles later the ducks are starting to appear on the beaches of Great Britton. How did they get there?
After falling overboard, the sea water corroded the card-packaging and the toys floated free. They circled the northern Pacific once before being washed up on the Alaskan shore, then all down the West coast of Canada and the US.Mr Ebbesmeyer saw immediately how valuable the little toys would be to scientific research of the great ocean currents, the engine of the planet’s entire climate.
He correctly predicted what many thought was impossible – that thousands of them would end up washed into the Arctic ice near Alaska, and then move at a mile a day, frozen in the pack ice, around their very own North-West Passage to the Atlantic.
It proved true years later and in 2003, the first “Friendly Floatees” were found, frozen and then thawed out, on the eastern seaboard of the U.S. and Canada.
So precious to science are they that the US firm that made them is offering a £50 bounty for finding one.
Looking to make your own message in a bottle? Be sure to launch it in the right spot with help from Greenpeace’s Trash Vortex predictor.