Friday, July 25, 2014

Lego legacy

On February 13, 1997, container ship Tokio Express was hit by a rogue wave off the coast of Cornwall, England, shortly after it left for New York. The ship listed sharply and 62 containers slid overboard about 20 miles off Land's End. The one container that apparently split open contained a total of 4,756,940 Lego pieces, of which an estimated 3,178,807 were light enough to have become flotsam. In the eyes of those who have been cleaning the litter off the beaches for the last 17 years, this was an ecological disaster. But for tourists and treasure hunters, the Legos – which includes daisies and dragons – are collectors' items. Ironically, many of the miniature toys that the shipment contained were nautically themed: divers, pirates and cutlasses, red and yellow spear guns (13,000 units), life preservers (26,600), pairs of flippers (418,000), scuba gear (97,500), brown ship rigging nets (26,400), and the much rarer black octopuses (4,200), as depicted above. Cornish beachcomber Tracey Williams divulges, "These days the holy grail is an octopus or a dragon."


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