Summary List Placement
A boat operated by the Evergreen Marine Corp., the company behind
the vessel currently
blocking the Suez Canal, once released 28,800 plastic toys
into the Pacific Ocean by accident in the 1990s — and they were
still washing up on shores around the world 15 years later.
The plastic toys included 7,200 red beavers, 7,200 green frogs,
7,200 blue turtles and 7,200 yellow ducks, according to
the journalist Donovan Hohn, who wrote a book about it.
The boat was eventually
confirmed to be the Ever Laurel, a boat operated by the
Evergreen Marine Corp.
But the origin of the plastic toys remained unknown for
years until Hohn
pieced it together. He later explained the phenomenon in
his book, titled “Moby-Duck: The true story of 28,800 bath
toys lost at sea.”
After the spillage, hundreds of the toys were found on shores
around the world, prompting a scientific investigation.
Two oceanographers, Jim Ingraham and Curtis Ebbesmeyer,
fed the coordinates of the plastic-toy sightings into their
ocean current surface simulator, and traced the drift patterns
back to the North Pacific.
They had been using the simulator to reconstruct drift routes for
200 Nike sneakers which had previously been lost to sea when a
shipment of 80,000 shoes went overboard.
Using these coordinates and cross-referencing it with records,
Hohn pieced together the history of the contamination back to the
Ever Laurel, a ship operated by the Evergreen Marine, which had
left Hong Kong on January 6, 1992 and arrived in Tacoma,
Washington, on January 16.
The toys continued to be spotted for years, with the most recent
sighting in the UK in 2007.
Evergreen Marine was back in the news this week for being the
company behind the Ever Given, the container ship that has
blocked the Suez Canal since Tuesday. The blockage is
estimated to be costing the global economy an
estimated $400 million per hour.
The ship’s owner, Japanese company Shoei Kisen, said Friday that
it was sorry for the disruption, and said it hoped to free the
vessel on Saturday, according to Nikkei