Missing any of your Lego pieces? A beach in Cornwall, England may be the place for you to go find replacements.
After a container filled with millions of Legos fell off of a ship headed for New York in 1997, the pieces have been washing onto a beach in Perranporth, Cornwall, according to the BBC.
Apparently, the ship, named “The Tokio Express,” was hit with a massive wave that the captain described as a “once in a 100-year phenomenon,” the BBC reported, which caused 62 containers to be lost overboard 20 miles from shore. The BBC said one of those containers contained 4.8 million pieces of Legos.
Now that’s a lot of Legos.
The Legos have been arriving on the Cornish shore for 17 years. Ironically enough, the BBC said that many of the Legos happen to be nautical-themed.
This is not the first time toys have been lost at sea.
In 1992, according to NPR, a cargo ship in the North Pacific lost 28,000 rubber ducks and other bath toys overboard.
This incident turned into a book called “Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them.” The experience actually gave scientists insight into ocean pollution, NPR reported.
Thus far, the Legos have only reached Cornwall, but US Oceanographer, Curtis Ebbesmeyer, who has been tracking the story since 1997, said that in theory, the Legos could travel all over the word, The Daily Mail reported.
Though it would probably be fun to gather some of these washed-up Legos, the incident is not all fun and games.
The BBC reported Ebbesmeyer’s analysis of the spill:
“There’s also a dark side to the story, he says. If Lego is on land then it’s fun. If it’s on the ocean it’s deadly, a poison for birds. If you lose one container with 5m pieces of Lego in it, that is a catastrophe for wildlife.”
One woman, Tracey Williams, sees toy spills as competitions. She runs a Facebook page to document Lego discoveries, and told the BBC: “These days the holy grail is an octopus or a dragon. I only know of three octopuses being found, and one was by me, in a cave in Challaborough, Devon. It’s quite competitive. If you heard that your neighbour had found a green dragon, you’d want to go out and find one yourself.”