Lego pieces continue to invade British coastline

Lego pieces from a container that fell into the ocean off Britain’s Cornish coast in 1997 are still washing up on beaches today

HIV treatment: the sooner the better (photo: iStock)
July 22nd, 2014 11:52 am| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Millions of Lego pieces disappeared into the sea in February of 1997, when the container ship Tokio Express was hit by a wave that knocked 62 containers overboard. One of those metal sea trunks was crammed with 5 million Lego pieces bound for New York. Shortly after the cargo was lost, the toys – many of them ironically nautically-themed – began turning up on the Cornish coastline, and they continue to wash up on beaches 17 years later.

"There are stories of kids in the late 1990s having buckets of dragons on the beach, selling them," a local woman named Tracey told the BBC.

Tracy runs a Facebook page tracking the Lego discoveries. She recently received an email from someone in Melbourne who found a flipper which they think could be from the Tokio Express container.

Circling the globe
According to oceanographers, it would take three years for the Lego parts to cross the Atlantic from Cornwall to Florida, so some of the Lego has probably crossed and some has possibly made its way around the world. Since 1997, the pieces could theoretically have drifted 62,000 miles, meaning they could drift up on beaches anywhere in the world. 

READ MORE: Greenpeace's Lego video pulled from YouTube

While it is fun to imagine the toys floating around the world’s oceans for centuries, the plastic pieces are dangerous for wildlife, especially birds.

Lego spokeswoman Emma Owen told the BBC that the Tokio Express incident "was of course very unfortunate, however this had nothing to do with the Lego Group activities".

HIV treatment: the sooner the better (photo: iStock)
Danish HIV research could revolutionise treatment internationally
Groundbreaking research by scientists at the University of Copenhagen could...
Danish aid continues to flow to Pakistan despite death penalty (photo: iStock)
Denmark aid continuing to Pakistan despite death penalty return
Denmark continues to give aid geared to the fight against drugs in Pakistan...
Organisers insist, despite the location, that the programs are no holiday (photo: iStock)
Young Danish drug abusers sent on two-year Caribbean ‘cruises’
Since 2010, Frederiksund Municipality has spent almost 8 million kroner on ...
Copenhagen shot past Amsterdam to top its namesake list (photo:  Copenhagenize Design Company)
Copenhagen claims title as world’s most bicycle-friendly city
Copenhagen has surpassed Amsterdam to be named the most bicycle-friendly ci...
Finger-licking good (The Donut Shop Facebook page)
Don’t miss out on this one, yer donut!
Think of round, fried, sweet, glazed, mouthwatering donuts ... and now imag...
The award ceremony took place at PWC's offices in Hellerup (photo: Pwc.dk)
TDC wins accounts prize: Disappointing year but well reported
It may have been a difficult year for TDC, marked by a price war with compe...