Lego meets Poseidon

lego fish storiesLike many parents over the last eight decades, I failed to make advance investments in Lego. This is a mistake. If you’re contemplating parenthood at any time in your future, jump ahead while you still have brain cells and buy in bulk. Stockpile for the future. You shall need it.

I like Legos. I’ve scooped, plucked, stepped-on, and slept-on countless numbers of small plastic blocks. I’ve puzzled over instructions, torn apart and re-assembled the same parts too many times to count. I’ve spent many an hour trying to construct oddly inappropriate models of various things. Use your imagination. Dump a pile on the coffee table and I guarantee visitors of all ages will find themselves unable to abstain.

Anyways, the reason I bring this up is a fun story I recently learned about. This isn’t a new story. In fact it happened almost 20 years ago but that was long before my biological clock beat down the door and insisted I reproduce. Back when I had more brain cells. Back when I slept when I felt like it. Back when I had an immeasurably more empty life than the one I now inhabit.

Life is a mix of good and bad, right?

So, here’s the story in a nutshell:

Back in 1997 Lego says, “make me a bazillion pieces of interlocking plastic bits and throw in some with a nautical theme.” Legions of factory workers pump their fists with excitement and begin churning out product. When the batch is completed they package it up by the pallet, shove it inside some shipping containers and ship the whole shebang off overseas.

Big ship. Big storm. Oops.

A container of Lego pieces – ironically some of the ones with a nautical theme – tips off the deck of the ship and plummets to the bottom of the ocean. Poseidon snickers somewhere off the coast of England. Lucky buggers. Estimates of up to five million Lego pieces go into the drink.

Some of them float. Many are washed ashore.

Legos continue showing up on beaches, spewed out of the mouths of waves. They gather in tide pools, cuddle up to starfish, climb out of tangled skeins of kelp only to get mired in sand-pits. These brightly primary-colored plastic jewels quickly beckon to beachcombers near Devon and Cornwall. Soon, these Lego emissaries issue their minute siren call from other shores as well.

Over the years they’ve been tracked far afield, tiny victims of ocean currents, the vagaries of travel, and god knows how many fish bellies.

arrowWanna see? Check out this Facebook page, LEGOS LOST AT SEA or this UPDATE through NPR. Doesn’t it make you want to rescue your own set of click-together world travelers? I bet eBay can help with that…

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  1. #1 by You know who I am on September 18, 2014 - 4:38 am

    Fantastic! Where do you find this stuff? I do love the irony that it’s all water-sport related Legos. Wouldn’t you freak out if tiny Lego scuba divers showed up in the surf like the commercials for Navy Seals?

    • #2 by Lesann Berry on September 18, 2014 - 9:01 am

      I was surprised I hadn’t heard of this before considering how long ago it happened. I think there’s a story in there somewhere – tiny Lego Navy Seals storming the beaches…

  2. #3 by shannonagains on October 5, 2014 - 3:00 pm

    I love this story so much – and it came up in the news a couple months ago here. I can’t remember why though. It makes me want to take a little weekend break to Cornwall – maybe next spring once Pumpkin is walking. If we make it, I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for Lego pieces!

    • #4 by Lesann Berry on October 5, 2014 - 9:38 pm

      I was surprised I’d never heard about it – especially when the niece/nephew Lego period came and went not long after the original debacle. If you find a Lego piece on the beach, bring it next time and James will cast it into a charm for Pumpkin. *squee*

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