Lego keeps washing up on beaches in Cornwall

  • 11 February 2015
Pile of Lego Image copyright Tracey Williams

You might expect seaweed and shells to wash up on the beach - but in Cornwall, they get Lego.

In 1997 a goods container filled with millions of Lego pieces fell off a ship and into the sea.

Since then hundreds of pieces have washed up on the beaches of Cornwall.

By chance many of the lost toys were ocean themed, so locals started finding miniature life jackets and octopuses on the beach - as well as dragons and daisies.

Tracey from Newquay collects the washed-up Lego. She said: "It's quite competitive. If you heard that your neighbour had found a green dragon, you'd want to go out and find one yourself."

Image caption A Lego octopus is a rare find

Since 1997 the lost toys could have drifted 62,000 miles and could end up on almost any beach.

Although it's fun to find Lego on the beach, it can pose a risk to wildlife.

How much Lego was lost?

  • Black octopus - 4,200
  • Yellow life jacket - 26,600
  • Dragons (black and green) - 33,941
  • Daisy flowers (in fours - white, red, yellow) - 353,264
  • In total 4,756,940 pieces lost overboard in a single container

Source: Beachcombers' Alert, vol 2. No 2 1997