In 1997, a container ship off the coast of Cornwall, UK, was hit by a freak wave and 62 shipping containers washed overboard, the BBC reports. One of these containers held 4.8 million LEGO pieces. Evidently the container ruptured, because even 17 years later beach-goers still routinely find dozens of LEGO pieces strewn about the beach. Many are battered beyond use, but some are still found in quite good condition.
LEGO treasure hunters will take keen interest that, according to the BBC report, the following items were lost:
Toy kits – Divers, Aquazone, Aquanauts, Police, FrightKnights, WildWest, RoboForce TimeCruisers, Outback, Pirates
Spear guns (red and yellow) – 13,000 items
Black octopus – 4,200
Yellow life preserver – 26,600
Diver flippers (in pairs: black, blue, red) – 418,000
Dragons (black and green) – 33,941
Brown ship rigging net – 26,400
Daisy flowers (in fours – white, red, yellow) – 353,264
Scuba and breathing apparatus (grey) – 97,500
Total of 4,756,940 Lego pieces lost overboard in a single container
Estimated 3,178,807 may be light enough to have floated
One can’t help but note the irony that so many of the lost pieces are nautical themed. Any minifig Robinson Crusoes in the Cornwall vicinity will be well equipped after searching the local beaches.