"In 1997, nearly five million bits of Lego fell into the sea when a huge wave hit the container ship the Tokio Express, washing 62 containers overboard. Ironically, most of the Lego pieces were sea related. They're still washing up today."
This is the description of a Facebook Page called "LEGO Lost at Sea" which is runned by Tracey Williams. She has been collecting the LEGO pieces washing up on the beach in Perranporth, Cornwall for many years.
The manifest for the Tokio Express container ship indicates that there were 4.8 million pieces aboard, most of them were nautical themed. 418,000 flippers, 33,941 dragons, 13,000 spear guns, 97,500 scuba sets, and 4,200 black octopi.
Sea currents are notoriously hard to track and incindents like these tickle the science community. US oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer tracked the LEGO since they were spilled in 1997. In an interview with the BBC, he said "The mystery is where they've ended up. After 17 years they've only been definitely reported off the coast of Cornwall." The pieces could have washed up on any beach on earth. The bulk of them were reported in Cornwall but some pieces were also found in Devon, Ireland and Wales.
If ever you plan on visiting Southern Great Brittain, you may want to go LEGO hunting in Perranporth! And if you'd like to follow the LEGO's journey, give Tracey's page a like on Facebook.