LEGOS have long been treasured by children and adults of all ages as they act out their dreams and fantasies with the plastic toys. However, in Cornwall, England, the creative toys have been washing up on multiple beaches for amateur pirates to plunder. In many homes, LEGOS are thought to be a dangerous foe for barefoot parents wandering in a dark room, but not so for the beached LEGOS. Their famous demise has brought new life to the floating pieces as they reemerge on the sandy shores.
Showing up on shores of Cornwall beaches for the last 17 years, their origins are not exactly a mystery. In fact, it is widely known that a shipping container filled with over 5 million LEGO pieces was lost at sea on February 13, 1997. The Tokio Express, bound for New York was blasted by large waves and 62 shipping containers fell into the water, resulting in the LEGOS being lost at sea as though they had walked the plank in a sacrifice to Cthulhu.
The pieces range from classic blocks to an appropriately themed nautical collection that is comprised of seaweed, scuba items, and even octopus shaped figures. Tracey Williams, a British writer, started a Facebook page about the tragedy, named LEGOS Lost at Sea. She explains some of the mysterious treasures that she has found or has seen others found.
“These days the holy grail is an octopus or a dragon. 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 neighbor had found a green dragon, you’d want to go out and find one yourself.”
Williams has estimated that approximately 3.2 million if the nearly 5 million pieces were light enough to eventually float to the surface and collect on popular beaches.
Environmentalists are not as excited as Tracey Williams. Claire Wallerstein, head of a Cornwall Beach care group, explained that the toys do not decompose, which can result in dire straights for the environment.
“If you look at the washed-up Lego, it looks perfect, like it’s just come out of the box. Plastic in the sea is not going to just decompose and go away.”
Despite the frustration that the environmentalists feel, collecting the historic treasures is quite competitive and the LEGOS are not likely to be ignored and left to litter the beach. Tracey Williams stated:
‘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.”
[Photo Courtesy: Yahoo News]