Given the row that Lego is currently embroiled in with Greenpeace, a story about its sea-polluting plastic toys washing up on UK beaches is probably the last thing it wants us to see. But seeing as it is pirate-themed Lego parts drifting ashore onto Cornish beaches, there's something ironically magical about the whole thing.
The tidal toys come from 62 Lego containers which fell from the Tokio Express ship into the sea off Cornwall back in 1997. 4.7 million Lego pieces in total fell overboard, including:
- 97,500 Lego scuba tanks
- 92,000 pirate's cutlasses
- 54,000 pieces of Lego seagrass
- 418,000 pairs of Lego flippers
- 26,600 yellow life jackets
Oh, and 33,941 dragons were among the Lego souls lost at sea too -- not quite as nautical, but just as awesome a find to pop among your sandcastles on the beach. With the seas churning up the cargo for 17 years now, the contents of the container is thought to have been washed up onto beaches all over the world, from Ireland to as far afield as Melbourne, Australia. Imagine if one of the pirate cutlasses had somehow managed to wriggle inside a glass bottle amidst the undertow, and washed ashore? That'd be some meta-pirate treasure right there.
There's a lovely Facebook page if you'd like to see some more of the finds, or document your own beach-recovered Lego treasures. [BBC]