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Thousands of hundred-dollar*-rubber-ducks to wash up on English shores

Posted By Joanne Nova On November 2, 2012 @ 3:53 am In Global Warming | Comments Disabled

UPDATE: This Friday Funny-type-curiosity turns out to be a 2007 story a reader emailed, and neither he nor I realized the story itself had been “bobbing around the internet”  for the last five years. I wonder how many ducks are still out there?  Thanks to MikeUK for pointing that out. – Jo


Thousands of rubber ducks have been touring the worlds oceans for 15 20 years, and they are about to bob (probably already bobbed) up in England. They fell off a boat in the Pacific Ocean in January 1992, and while most washed up in the South Pacific, some lucky ducks got in the Subpolar Gyre (near Alaska) then frozen in Arctic ice. The pack-ice ducks moved at a mile a day and found their own North West Passage across to the Atlantic.  By 2001 were doing tours over the Titanic, washing up between Maine and Massachusetts. Now their chief fan, Curtis Ebbesmeyer predicts they’ll head for the UK.

Mr Ebbesmeyer saw immediately how valuable the little toys would be to scientific research of the great ocean currents, the engine of the planet’s entire climate.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) worked out that the ducks travel approximately 50 per cent faster than the water in the current.

While researchers find the results important for studies of oceanic currents I think it’s interesting that ducks left to fend for themselves in the Arctic and North Atlantic have probably survived longer than those that fell into the hands of small children instead.

The Daily Mail has the full story

Thousands of rubber ducks to land on British shores after 15 year journey


Read it all.
*The company The First Years offers a $100 savings bond as a reward for the ducks, though it apparently applies to New England, Canadan and Ireland, and I can’t see any mention of Old England. Though wait… there is a £50 bounty… that looks promising for English beach combers. Look for bleached white floatables with the words “The First Years”.
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