11 Weird Things That Washed Up On Shore
Ahh, the beach. The sun, the surf, the severed feet. Beach combers with metal detectors can make a tidy profit scouring the sand for lost jewelry and coins. Sometimes, items of a more memorable nature wash ashore.
Century Old Whisky
That’s a hell of a vintage. In 1901 the sailing ship Stuart set sail from Liverpool, headed for New Zealand, and wrecked in Northern Wales. On board were thousands of bottles of whisky. The survivors salvaged what they could, but bottles are still washing ashore, 114 years later. You could be drunk and rich. That’s living the dream, right there.
The worlds oceans are their bathtub now. A crate of 28,000 of these little guys slipped off a ship taking them from China to America. They’ve washed up damn near everywhere: South America, Australia, Hawaii, Alaska, Scotland, Newfoundland, the Atlantic…and all without the hassle of a passport. In addition to being an adorable infestation, oceanographers have studied the ducks travels to better understand the oceans currants. Cute and helpful? These ducks are role models.
Love knows no bounds. Not time, nor place, nor trans-Atlantic distance. After Hurricane Sandy, a stack of 57 love letters washed up on the shores of New Jersey. These missives were penned by Dorothy Fallon to her future husband, Lynn Farham, from 1942-48. Though her husband died in 1991, the letters were returned to Dorothy, who is in her 90s. What a wonderful reunion. She is one lucky lady.
A beach full of blow? Outta my way! One lucky resident of Yokosuka, Japan found four backpacks filled with a total of $48 million worth of cocaine washed up on a local beach in 2013. Good gravy, that’s a lotta coke! How much? Each backpack held about 20 bricks of cocaine – a kilogram or 2.2 pounds each. It was the biggest illegal drug seizure in Japanese history. Now we just wait for the bodies of the guys who screwed up that drug deal to wash up on shore.
Life-Size Lego Men
This would be a hard one to step on. Four different 8 foot tall, 100lb Lego men have been found washed up on various shores. Each Lego man’s torso bears the same inscription: “No Real Than You Are”. I think there’s a word missing there. Its back is emblazoned with the words “Ego Leonard” and the number 8. The first sighting was in 2007, near the Netherlands. The following year he was found on Brighton Beach, U.K.; in 2011 he showed up at Siesta Key Beach, Florida; and in 2012 he appeared on a beach in Los Angeles. It was later discovered that “Ego Leonard” was the alter ego of a Dutch artist, and this was a bit of his performance art. Now that is how you make a statement, people.
Severed Crocodile Head
A South African couple taking a stroll on the beach happened upon this most romantic find in 2013. Think of all the handbags and shoes its torso could have made! The only thing scarier than finding a severed croc head on the beach, is the creature that decapitated it. Poachers? Great white shark? Either way, you’re not safe on land nor sea. Time to move to space.
Say what? Dragon skull? But that’s not even…how can…the hell… This skull, the size of a London bus, showed up on the shores of Charmouth beach in Dorset, England in 2013. 40 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 9 feet tall, this skull had both paleontologists and Creationist Museum supporters panties all up in a wad. Sadly, it’s not a real dragon skull. Ugh. Lame. It was an elaborate sculpture created by a British streaming service called blinkbox to commemorate the arrival of the third season of the wildly popular HBO show Game of Thrones. Now, that’s how you support your fandom. What have you ever done?
You know what you usually find near gravestones? Dead bodies. One usually leads to the other. The moment I saw one of the two headstones that washed up on the San Francisco shores in 2012, I’d be scanning for the accompanying dead bodies as I sprinted to my car. Luckily, nothing that creepy was at play here. The tombstones, belonging to Emma Bosworth from 1876, and Delia Presby Oliver, from 1890, were repurposed as construction material for a sea wall at Ocean Beach in the 1940s, after the bodies were moved. No, that’s still creepy. I’d haunt that wall if I were those ladies.
Whale vomit. Ambergris is just a fancy term for whale vomit. Sperm whale vomit, to be exact. Ken Willman was walking his dog along a British beach when he stumbled upon a foul smelling yellow rock which turned out to be a big old lump of ambergris. So what’s the big deal? Ambergris is a prized perfumery fixative which extends the life of the scent. Ambergris has largely been replaced by synthetic ingredients. Bummer! I can’t wear whale vomit anymore? Oh, pain! Oh, sorrow! While the sale and trade of ambergris is illegal in America and Australia, it’s still legal in France and Switzerland. So go get your puke on there. Ken’s find could be worth as much as 100,000 British pounds. Cash money, yo. Stinky cash money.
It’s not every day that the dock comes to the boat. The tsunami that hit Japan in 2011 tore this dock from its foundations in the city of Misawa, Japan and set it afloat in the Pacific. A year later, it parked itself on the shores of Agate Beach in Oregon, teeming with tag-along sea life. Sadly, Wilson the volleyball was not among the stowaways.
Not just severed feet, but severed feet in shoes. And not one matching pair. Rude. Since 2007, 11 shoe-clad feet have washed up on the shores of British Colombia and the Pacific Northwest. What kind of crazy serial killer leaves a severed-foot-in-shoe calling card? None. Turns out there was no evidence that the feet were hacked off, but were instead separated from their legs on their own in the water, due to decomposition. They most likely belong to bridge-jumping suicides and aren’t connected with each other. That’s still sad and grisly, but not the dirty-work of a serial killer. At least, not yet.