Ghostly Plastic Ducks, Adrift at Sea
Cast adrift in shipping accident, thirty thousand little plastic toy ducks have floated the sea for fifteen years, the elements transforming them from playful yellow to ghostly white... Listen close, little children, to the Tale of the Wandering Ducks...
Residents of the western UK and Irish coasts have been warned to expect an invasion by a vast flotilla of ghostly, immortal albino plastic ducks, according to reports.
The tale of the floating, whitened bird-simulacra migration is a strange one, dating back many years. It seems that the plastic bathtime companions were originally made in China. They were on their way to America in 1992 when a terrible storm struck their vessel in mid-Pacific, and shipping containers holding 30,000 of the hapless playthings were washed overboard.
ducks have become collector’s items, changing hands for £500.
The nautical nitty-gritty:
Ebbesmeyer's next serendipitous study of the ocean currents in the North Pacific came in late 1992 when a large number of brightly coloured bathtub toys were reported on the beaches near Sitka, Alaska. These toys had been part of a shipment of containers headed from Hong Kong to Tacoma, Washington. In January, 1992, the container ship carrying the toys among its cargo encountered severe storm conditions near the International Date Line (44.7°N, 178.1°E). Twelve containers went overboard as the ship rolled about 40 degrees in the heavy seas. One of these 20-metre containers held a shipment of 29,000 bathtub toys.
Watertight and designed to withstand the beatings of a toddler, these amazing travelers could well wander the seven seas for all time, until the four winds cease to blow...
They (well, I) say that if ye find one a' these ghost ducks washed ashore, you're due for an unexpected visitor...
Can you come up with your own seafaring ducky superstitions?
Also, the duckies have floated into the blogosphere:
a picture of a plastic duckie on the cover of this month's Harpers
magazine. The feature story is MOBY-DUCK: Or, the Synthetic Wilderness
of Childhood by Donovan Holn. It's a wonderful read. Donaovan Holn has
weaved together the story of the Floatees and his personal voyage of