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Rubber duckies wash ashore after 11 years.
August 1, 2003 10:20 AM   Subscribe

Rubber duckies wash ashore after 11 years Eleven years ago, a cargo-ship container holding 29,000 toy ducks was lost at sea in the North Pacific storm. They have since floated round the United States, through the Arctic and past Greenland (map). One American scientist is devoted to studying sea debris like these, including 80,000 pairs of Nike trainers, five million lost pieces of Lego and 34,000 hockey gloves, all lost when containers fell from transport ships.
posted by ao4047 (17 comments total)

 
Rubber Ducky, you're the one,
You make bathtime lots of fun,
Rubber Ducky, I'm awfully fond of you;

Woo woo be doo

Rubber Ducky, joy of joys,
When I squeeze you, you make noise!
Rubber Ducky, you're my very best friend, it's true!

Doo doo doo doo, doo doo

Every day when I
Make my way to the tubby
I find a little fella who's
Cute and yellow and chubby

Rub-a-dub-a-dubby!

Rubber Ducky, you're so fine
And I'm lucky that you're mine
Rubber ducky, I'm awfully fond of you.

Every day when I
Make my way to the tubby
I find a little fella who's
Cute and yellow and chubby

Rubber Ducky, you're so fine
And I'm lucky that you're mine
Rubber ducky, I'm awfully fond of -
Rubber ducky, I'd like a whole pond of -
Rubber ducky I'm awfully fond of you!

Doo doo, be doo
posted by lola at 10:42 AM on August 1, 2003


this is an awesome story, thanks!

lola, i think you need an extra verse about

rubber ducky, drowned at sea,
rubber ducky, you wanna be free
rubber ducky, science will say
that eleven years later you'll return okay

rubber ducky, thousands of you are dead
but rubber ducky you showed up safe,
so lets go to bed!
posted by Peter H at 10:47 AM on August 1, 2003


One American scientist is devoted to studying sea debris like these

Dr. Curt Ebbesmeyer! My hero! Check out his Beachcombers' Alert.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 10:49 AM on August 1, 2003


LOL, look at my FPP from yesterday! There is a reward for these ducks!
posted by dirtylittlemonkey at 11:22 AM on August 1, 2003


Oh actually reading the article... the ducks haven't washed ashore... they are expected to wash ashore.
posted by dirtylittlemonkey at 11:26 AM on August 1, 2003


i heard an interview with this guy, he talked about calling the toy producer and finding out how durable these little duckies are, they should make warships and oil tankers out of these little yellow bastards.
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 11:28 AM on August 1, 2003


Man forget the ducks.. do you know what I could do with FIVE MILLION LEGO bricks!?

Surely that would be sufficent to take over the world with my own lego robot army...
posted by joquarky at 12:21 PM on August 1, 2003


In the early 90's I was stationed on an island in the Aleutians and stuff from container ships used to wash ashore all the time, along with trash dumped at sea.

Shoes, skin cream, bathtub toys (including rubber ducks), sadly no electronics.
posted by m@ at 12:21 PM on August 1, 2003


It's Bert's worse nightmare. 10,000 rubber duckies, all chanting "I'm Spartacus."

(And so's my wife!)
posted by eriko at 12:42 PM on August 1, 2003


Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer (who is one of the foremost researchers of Pacific Ocean currents) also said, in a public radio interview about six weeks ago, that he thought - based on his knowledge of the influence of ocean currents on climate and on recent changes in the Pacific currents he studies - that he thought global climate was starting to undergo an enormous shift (unprecedented in recent times). "That's my suspicion," Ebbesmeyer said (approximate quote), "but I can't prove it yet."
posted by troutfishing at 1:26 PM on August 1, 2003


Sunk to a watery grave, trapped for eternity in Arctic ice floes or swallowed whole by greedy fish, the planet's northern seas are an inhospitable and unpredictable environment for innocent toys intended for the world's bathtubs.

That's hilarious.
posted by Samsonov14 at 1:49 PM on August 1, 2003


It's an international audience. Please use the word "shoes" rather than the colloquialism "trainers".
posted by nyxxxx at 1:55 PM on August 1, 2003


The ducks will outlast us all.
posted by troutfishing at 5:43 PM on August 1, 2003


It's an international audience. Please use the word "shoes" rather than the colloquialism "trainers".
Are you serious or joking? I honestly can't tell.
"Trainers," as a term, is probably more of a regionalism than a colloquialism. Being a specific kind of footwear, it is probably a more descriptive term than "shoes." English is an international language: there are many varieties of English and all are equally valid.
posted by philfromhavelock at 5:45 AM on August 2, 2003


In my local dialect the term would be "tennyshoes". Would you even know what that meant? Most people don't know what "trainers" are.

I should think you would like to write clearly so as to be understood by more people. I guess not.
posted by nyxxxx at 8:24 AM on August 2, 2003


"I should think you would like to write clearly so as to be understood by more people. I guess not."
Please don't make dismissive assumptions about me.
If the word is not known by a member of the audience, I do not think the writing is unclear.

"Would you even know what that meant?" I could put it together. And if I didn't, even if I thought "pairs of tennyshoes" were pairs of sunglasses or pairs of trousers, I would still get the main point of the article through context.

I think of the term "trainers" as international and I have seen it used in print, so I disagreed with your main point. "Hockey" may mean field hockey or ice hockey, depending on the country where someone was raised. "American" sometimes refers to someone from the U.S. specifically or from anywhere in the Americas, North, Central or South America, the latter as seen at the BBC web pages. Many words cause confusion in international audiences; the web is an international medium.
I really did not know if you were joking, but apparently you weren't: perhaps that line should have been in brackets. If I offended you by telling you my thoughts on the term, my apologies.
posted by philfromhavelock at 9:50 PM on August 2, 2003


uh, "...pairs of Nike trainers..." What is Nike most well-known for producing? fucking SHOES!

Pedantic much, nyxxxx?
posted by notsnot at 8:04 PM on August 3, 2003


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