All Washed Up

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The total volume of the earth’s water is 1 386 million cubic kilometres (Leisure Boating used a simple bucket measurement system to check this fact) and within this vast expanse of water, there is no shortage of strange and wonderful objects floating around. Some of the items that get washed up on our beaches even make headlines: here are our top 20 weird and wonderful beach finds.

1. Half a million shoes washed up in the port town of Terschelling in the Netherlands after a container ship lost its load. Locals were quick to get a foot in the door and collect the shoes.
2. After the SS Politician ran aground off the coast of Eriskay while carrying 28 000 cases of malt whisky, the locals managed to salvage 24 000 bottles before customs officials sank the boat. The resultant party must have lasted for weeks.
3. A container of plastic ducks, frogs and turtles was lost at sea in 1992. Many of these buoyant toys have been tracked travelling vast distances, some as far as the Arctic. Oceanographers have thus been able to track the movement of ocean currents.
4. After a container of Nike shoes was lost at sea during a hurricane in 1990, marine scientists were able to track the shoes (they stay afloat for as longas 10 years) and use the data relating
to the movement of ocean currents. The locals ‘just did it’ and collected their fair share of footwear.
5. A group of holidaymakers in Cornwall were surprised to find that they were playing cricket on the beach with a human leg bone of a 300-year-old sailor. Leg before wicket was the call from the umpire!

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