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No. 97: Jan-Feb 1995

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Rubber Duckies Chase Nike Shoes Across Pacific

Remember that amusing item in SF#84 about the 80,000 Nike shoes that were lost overboard in the Pacific in 1991? These shoes washed ashore months later in Canada and Alaska, carried thousands of miles by prevailing currents. Well, it's happened again. This time, eleven steel containers fell off a cargo vessel in the North Pacific near the International Dateline. The containers released 29,000 bath toys: duckies, turtles, froggies, and beavers. Ten months after the spill (January 10, 1992), the first yellow duckies washed ashore in Canada.

These spills are useful in charting ocean currents but, except for wry Fortean content, are of little import to anomalists. However, there is one prediction of the computer models that is worth noting: Some of these bath toys may make it through the Bering Strait, across the Arctic Ocean, down past Greenland, and onto Atlantic shores. So, keep your eyes open at the beach!

(Anonymous; "Rubber Ducky Armada Crosses Pacific," Science News, 146: 254, 1994. Carlton, Jim; "Tub Toys Are Ducky Ocean Researchers," Wall Street Journal, September 30, 1994. Cr. J. Covey)

From Science Frontiers #97, JAN-FEB 1995. 1995-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987