In 1992, a cargo container full of rubber duckies and many other bath toys set out from Hong Kong in hopes of making it to U.S. bathtubs someday. Though, that dream was squashed when the cargo container fell off the ship it was traveling on. All 28,000 duckies and their plastic frog and beaver friends were lost at sea, never to fulfill their dreams of floating in bath tubs all across the United States. It’s been over 20 years since we lost the duckies, though they do wash ashore from time to time. At least 19,000 have washed up in Australia, Indonesia and South America, the remaining floated in various directions, including British Beaches.
Since the ducks wash ashore in a variety of places all over the world, it has taught scientists many things about the ocean and it’s currents, who would have thought? These ducks have also assisted in learning about pollution.
The most interesting group of the ducks are those that float around in the North Pacific Gyre, a vortex of currents that run through, Japan, Southeast Alaska, Kodiak and the AleutianIslands. An Ocean Gyre is a system of circular ocean currents formed by the Earth’s wind patterns and the forces created by the rotation of the planet. These Gyre’s are known as garbage patches in the Ocean. There are ducks floating among the North Pacific Gyre, or garbage patch, to this day.
Thirteen years later, a journalist, Donovan Hohn, decided to track the movement of the ducks! You can read about his Odyssey in his book, ‘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’.
I guess it’s safe to say these are the most well-travel bath toys in the world!