Saturday, April 30, 2011


In January 1992, a cargo ship in the eastern Pacific Ocean lost twelve containers overboard in a storm. Boxes of bathtub toys broke open and a fleet of 28,800 yellow ducks, green frogs, blue turtles and red beavers were set adrift.

Nineteen years later, this small story is still in the news. The Daily Mail wrote an article about it a few years ago and Wikipedia has an entry, calling the toys "Friendly Floatees".  I recently read a review in The Week about a new book, Moby-Duck.

These plastic toys have traveled far.

Curtis Ebbesmeyer, Flotsam scientist

Chart from Wikipedia

I did a lot of wilderness rowing and kayaking in Alaska back in the mid-80's to mid-90's.  We would travel hundreds of miles each summer, picking our weather and camping on the beach. 

One year (it must have been 1993), there was the added attraction of looking for bathtub toys at each new campsite.  We found quite a few, but I only have one frog now.

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