These Are Some Of The Most Bizarre And Beautiful Objects Washed Ashore On Beaches
When you’re walking along the beach, if you’re lucky, you might just manage to find some pretty seashells to add to your home decoration collection. You might even spy a person walking around with a metal detector hoping to find some coins. But then there are these people.
The oceans of the world remain as vast and mysterious as ever, filled with endless secrets. And for the lucky few, some of those mysteries of the deep have actually washed ashore to be discovered and pondered over. Some of these items are exquisite, and others downright baffling, but all of them made their way into the shocked hands of beachgoers.
1. Jelly Delights
Imagine stumbling across an entire beach covered with these bizarre globular orbs washed ashore. What would your first instinctive reaction be? Nine chances out of 10 that you would not be able to resist the urge to pop at least one. But when you learn what they really are, you’d probably think twice about bursting them open.
Believe it or not, these weird jelly-filled blobs are actually egg sacs. They are a common sight on the beaches of southern Brazil, Uruguay, and northern Argentina. They’re big enough that you might think they’re from some massive sea creature, but they are actually produced by Adelomelon brasiliana — a species of sea snail!
2. Water Wings
Oddly enough, this downed war plane is neither in a war zone nor belonging to an enemy air force. Found off the coast of Northern Wales, this is an American P-38 fighter plane that saw action during World War II. It has survived in remarkable condition, despite having been washed by the tides since 1942.
The plane has become such an alluring local attraction that it has even warranted its own term of endearment, nicknamed the Maid of Harlech. It lay low for decades, until shifting sands uncovered it in the 1970s, 2007 and in 2014. Don’t expect to get too close: disturbing the site can get you in serious trouble with the law, as it’s a protected relic.
3. Footing The Bill
Behold! Shoes, shoes to your heart’s content! This outlandish sight was discovered by a pair of tourists vacationing on the Dutch island of Terschelling. Although at first glance they thought that the sight was quite comical, their feelings soon turned to dread when they saw the unbelievable extent of this ecological catastrophe.
This Foot Locker free-for-all washed ashore when a Panamanian cargo ship ran into some extremely rough waters off the Dutch and German coasts, losing 270 boxes of goods, including thousands of sneakers. Even as the tourist couple enlisted some help to start cleaning the beach, they admittedly found — and snagged — a pair of sandals that fit.
4. If No One Is Around To Hear It
There’s something uniquely satisfying about finding pieces of driftwood washed ashore on the beach, polished smooth by the ocean’s caress. It’s popular to make art projects and even construct furniture out of it. But then there’s this exquisite monstrosity, a treasure trove of raw material even though it looks too beautiful to touch.
Don’t expect your dog to snatch up this stick. Found on the beach in La Push, Washington, this majestic trunk was in its lifetime a Pacific red cedar, an enormous species of tree. Brought ashore by choppy waves during a storm, the trunk is 13 feet thick, and over 200 feet in length.
5. Goodbye, Moonmen
This other-worldly-looking cylinder was found washed ashore on a beach in Northern California, badly rusted and blown out. It looks eerily familiar, like the set piece for the escape pod in Star Wars. Even though it looks like it might be fun to have a romp around in, imagine that fishy smell.
Somehow, from the look of things, even though it’s had its fair share of wear and tear, this peculiar cylinder has managed to escape becoming a second home to sea life, sporting neither mussels nor barnacles. Given its forlorn surroundings, it lends the beach a strange sense of lonesome beauty.
6. Blue Meanies
That unearthly bright blue color, that translucent form, and that crumpled shape. At first glance, this looks like a mass of plastic bottles or trash tragically littering this beachfront. But what washed ashore is actually a species of jellyfish called Velella, nicknamed By-The-Wind Sailors for their habit of drifting with the wind thanks to their little sails.
These mesmerizing blobs all beached en masse and expired shortly thereafter. And while the sight must have been extra tempting for curious beachgoers, the Velella still come with a nasty surprise even in death. Their tentacles are still capable of stinging, so touch the sail but steer clear of what’s underneath.
7. Haunted Beach
It’s like the perfect setting for a romance novel. Amidst the evergreen trees of North America’s only temperate rainforest, on the shores of a lonely island inhabited by the Haida Nation for thousands of years, a ship foundered but refused to die. Its wooden skeleton still juts up out of the sand.
This is the wreck of the Pesuta, a log barge that washed ashore during a particularly nasty storm in 1928, and stayed there. You can access it through a long hike in British Columbia’s Naikon Provincial Park. The rotted frame is all that remains from what was once a 264-foot long ship.
8. Mermaid Marbles
If only all seaweed looked this appealing. That way, you could actually make some really cool group activities out of finding piles of it washed up on the beach. These cute green balls may look too perfectly round to be real, but they are actually a naturally occurring aquatic organism.
Called marimo, this is a rare type of algae found across the Northern Hemisphere. It doesn’t always appear in this form, but occasionally, to the delight of beachgoers, it grows into this marvelous shape. When bunches of marimo balls wash up onto the shore, their velvety roundness is practically irresistible.
9. Miniature Ecosystem
The discoverer of this small treasure wrote that he and his wife were having a stroll on a beach in Hawaii when they stumbled across what looked like an entire ecosystem that had sprung up over an artificial object. Abandoned to the mercy of the waves, this glass ball then become home to sea life.
First of all, considering that this ball is made of glass, it’s amazing that it survived its journey through the ocean and remained totally intact without even so much as a scratch on its surface. But what this discovery proves is that barnacles can truly make a home just about anywhere! And the results can be extraordinary.
10. Not A Drill
Despite its coiled shape and metallic sheen, this strange object washed ashore is actually not a power tool. Nor is it a strangely spiraled species of seaweed that’s floated up onto the beach. Sometimes, nature can be just so miraculous that it boggles the mind: this is, in fact, the egg casing of a species of shark.
The female of the Port Jackson shark species in southern Australia wedges these egg cases into crevices between rocks to keep her offspring safe from predators as the pup grows inside for up to a year. While they are difficult to dislodge, this one unfortunately ended up stranded on the beach.
11. Discovering A Playmate
This strange finding on a British beach is absolutely surreal. It’s so shiny and bright that it’s surprising to think that this Lego Man actually survived a journey through the waters of the North Sea. He washed ashore in the English town of Brighton, and while his appearance is peculiar, the story behind it is even more astounding.
This Lego Man is part of a series done by an anonymous Dutch guerrilla artist who calls himself Ego Leonard. Over the past decade, he has created several of these giant Lego Man statues and chucked them into the ocean. They have been found in the Netherlands, California, Florida, Japan, and England, and one even surfaced out of the Danube River in Austria.
12. Expensive Refuse
Sure, it might look like an ugly, drab rock that’s washed ashore, but this is one lump far deserving of a second glance. That yellowish discoloring isn’t a kind of moss. The man holding this blob is grinning because he knows he’s nabbed an extremely valuable ball of pricey puke.
The peculiar object he’s holding is ambergris, a special secretion from the innards of sperm whales that they eventually expel. It’s no coincidence that this British man’s dog found it, as animals are attracted to its pungent odor. Surprisingly, over time, ambergris ages and gives off a sweet scent, making it a key ingredient in many perfumes. As such, finding it can fetch a hefty reward. This particular unusual treasure had an estimated value of more than $100,000.
13. This Site Is Bananas
Daylight came, and now he wants to go home. The unfriendly skies and chilly weather evidenced by this man’s parka should be your first clue that these bananas have traveled quite far from where they were raised. Due to a cargo spill, hundreds of bunches of bananas washed ashore far from their tropical origins onto a beach in the Netherlands.
Thanks to this odd twist of events, the Dutch got a taste of the tropics for just a moment despite the harsh gray surroundings. But there’s an important question to wonder about this fruity extravaganza. How permeable are banana peels? If they have been carried through the seawater, are they still edible?
14. Winter Is Coming
A large percentage of the episodes of Game of Thrones have been filmed in the northern winter wonderland of Iceland. So it should come as no surprise that this naturally occurring chunk of ice not only made its way ashore on this black sand beach, but came readily shaped as a throne.
This seems like a throne perfectly fit for the Night King himself. While the camera angle doesn’t allow for us to look into this gentleman’s eyes and discern whether or not he’s a white walker, we’ll safely assume he’s a mortal, which poses a problem. Sitting on that kind of a throne must mean a terribly cold bottom!
15. Game On
There’s an indescribable joy that comes across us when we see a fresh field of virgin snow. What follows shortly thereafter, however, is the gross aftermath of dirty brown slush, which is coupled with glances of disappointment. But picture the sheer delight at discovering this wondrous sight washed up on the beach.
Dirty or not, here is a field of perfectly rounded snowballs by the dozens, ready made and delivered for your own personal usage. If you happened to come across this sight with a friend, then it’s the kind of discovery that would inspire an absolute frenzy of snowball volleys. It saves you the time of having to roll the ball for your fight!
16. Absolutely Miraculous
We’ve all heard incredible, improbable stories of messages in a bottle traveling great distances despite all odds and managing to reach somebody. Frankly, any time a glass object emerges from the ocean depths still intact, it’s remarkable. As such, the sheer existence of this soda bottle is nothing short of miraculous.
The finder of this soda bottle surely ought to follow the instructions written on it and smile, because they did in fact stumble across an unimaginably rare artifact. However old you may think that this vintage soda bottle is, think again. It was actually patented all the way back in 1922!
At first glance, this mannequin head that washed ashore may look downright creepy. It has a fading, penetrating stare reminiscent of something from a horror film, and of course it’s covered with an entire colony of barnacles. But at second observation, there’s something eerily beautiful about this strange find washed ashore.
For some reason, these mollusks opted to only take over one half of this plastic head. You’ve heard of bedazzling enthusiasts encrusting their faces or outfits with jewels or sequins, but then there’s having your face decked out with dozens upon dozens of sea creatures. This kind of look would take lots of dedication before hitting the runway.
18. Ghostly Relics
If you’re lucky enough to live in close proximity to a beach, perhaps your beach might have some interesting tidepools to check out. But if you’re among select few, you might just live near a real-life historical war relic that you can actually walk right up to and check out.
Washed ashore on this beach in the far north of France are the ruins of a German U-boat submarine from World War I. It’s hard to know it from the look of things, but between its mines and torpedoes, this U-boat was responsible for sinking a whopping total of 42 ships before disappearing and running aground.
19. Steer Clear
You might think that this ominous-looking, barnacle-coated ball washed up on a beach on the Florida-Alabama border is not worth further inspection. But you’d be wrong — dead wrong, in fact. What may look otherwise forgettable is in fact a weapon of war, carried to shore by the waves of the Gulf of Mexico.
Under all that marine encrusting is a practice mine, which had formerly been used in weapons exercises by the United States Navy. Despite its haggard appearance, it was actually determined to be a newer model, which meant all that barnacle covering was the result of just two or three years under the sea. Naturally, Navy weapons ordinance teams had to be called in to remove it.
20. A Price Above Rubies
You’re probably so used to seeing jewelry like this for sale at costume shops that you would not even consider that this trinket might have far more to it than meets the eye. In this case, all that glitters is, in fact, solid gold — and it just casually washed ashore on a beach.
This ring is 22.5 carat gold with emeralds mined in colonial Colombia, salvaged from the wreckage of a Spanish cargo ship that was destroyed in 1715. It’s hard to comprehend just calmly strolling along the beach, finding this gorgeous piece of jewelry, and having it actually be the real deal.
21. 20th Century Fossils
These beach discoveries have been turned a lovely shade of turquoise by the passage of time and the wearing of seawater, and while they may not look particularly significant, any amateur historian or United States military veteran will instantly be able to understand their true worth. These small pieces have over 70 years of tales to tell.
The emblem is unmistakably the proud American eagle, and the grooves at the bottom of the object on the left should give away its identity as an old bullet casing. These are artifacts that washed ashore long after the Battle of Okinawa, one of the last major battles of World War II and the largest naval assault of the war.
22. Holy Shores
It’s been carried far inland, it’s dotted and pockmarked with barnacles and worn away by water and burrowing clams, but it’s survived the ocean intact. In fact, it’s highly likely that at least a few people who stumbled across this sight must have taken a good dose of inspiration from it.
This giant cross made news headlines when it washed ashore on a South Florida beach in early 2019, with quite the mystery surrounding it. One woman stated she believed it was the same cross she and some friends had erected on an island in North Carolina in 2016 in memory of her brother, likely swept away by a hurricane.
23. You’re Blocking The View
It’s hard to put into perspective just how massive this pipe is that washed ashore on beaches in England. It is one of several pieces of an enormous bore tube that was being taken to Algeria to be used in a building project. The sections came loose from the transport ship and made their way ashore, to the surprise of locals.
While the manufacturers of the pipes in Norway warned people not to approach them, naturally that didn’t stop people from climbing on them for some selfies. They are eight feet wide, but their length is what is truly hard to quantify: one of the pipes carried by the waves is over 1,500 feet long.
24. Stunning Spiral
It looks so unbelievably perfect, so polished and so unnaturally silver that you would think this was just a cool souvenir picked up in the gift shop at a natural history museum somewhere. But this shell picked up off the beach where it washed ashore is in a different league entirely.
This prehistoric ammonite shell that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing in science textbooks has undergone a highly unique process called pyritization. You may know pyrite better as fool’s gold, and it is likely that the water that surrounded this ancient creature had low oxygen levels and special chemicals that helped form its covering.
25. Beach Bunnies
Easter egg hunts are fun, and beach trash pickups, while necessary, are not always the most exhilarating activity. So what’s more beneficial for all parties involved than those rare moments when the world of environmentalism and the world of holiday fun actually collide? That’s exactly what happened on the beach below.
A heavy storm in 2017 brought flooding to areas of northern Germany and Denmark, but it also brought tens of thousands of plastic Kinder eggs with toys inside to this beach’s shores after a freighter caught in the storm wound up losing its cargo. It looks like the Easter bunny wasn’t terrifically subtle about his hiding places that year.
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