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Bits Of Lego Keep Washing Up On Cornish Beaches

Whisky Galore!, but with bricks.

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So. On 13 February 1997, the container ship Tokio Express was hit by a wave described by its captain as a "once-in-a-100-year phenomenon".

Tracey Williams / SWNS.com
Tracey Williams / SWNS.com

It almost capsized the ship one way - then almost capsized it the other.

Tracey Williams / SWNS.com

And that meant that 62 containers were lost overboard about a few dozen miles off Land's End in Cornwall – and one of them was filled with around 5 million pieces of Lego, bound for New York.

Tracey Williams / SWNS.com
Tracey Williams / SWNS.com

The pieces are still washing up in Cornwall today – and have also apparently been found in Devon, Ireland, and Wales.

Tracey Williams / SWNS.com

And – what are the chances? – many of the Lego items were nautical-themed. Loads of tiny cutlasses, flippers, and bits of scuba gear are appearing on the beaches.

Tracey Williams / SWNS.com

Tracey Williams runs a Facebook page documenting the discoveries.

Tracey Williams / SWNS.com

She recently got an email from someone in Melbourne claiming to have found a flipper from the spill.

Tracey Williams / SWNS.com
Tracey Williams / SWNS.com

The BBC interviewed US oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer about the phenomenon.

Tracey Williams / SWNS.com

He said: "The most profound lesson I've learned from the Lego story is that things that go to the bottom of the sea don't always stay there."

Tracey Williams / SWNS.com
Tracey Williams / SWNS.com

"The mystery is where they've ended up. After 17 years they've only been definitely reported off the coast of Cornwall."

He believes that since 1997, the pieces could have drifted up to 62,000 miles, which means they could wash up on any beach on earth.
Tracey Williams / SWNS.com

He believes that since 1997, the pieces could have drifted up to 62,000 miles, which means they could wash up on any beach on earth.