It seems that the plastic ducks that fell into the Pacific ocean about 15 years ago are to eventually land on our shores.  I first heard about these ducks (and beavers, turtles and frogs) a few years ago.  They began life in a Chinese factory and were being shipped to the United States in 1992 when the containers they were in fell into the sea during a storm.  Two thirds of them floated south towards Indonesia, Australia and South America but about 10,000 headed north.  An American oceanographer Curtis Ebesmeyer has been charting their progress.  Some of the ducks, known as Friendly Floatees, are expected to reach Britain after a journey of nearly 17,000 miles, having crossed the Arctic Ocean frozen into pack ice, bobbed the length of Greenland and been carried down the eastern seaboard of the United States.

They are now completely white having been bleached by the sun and seawater and they fetch a reward of £50 from the American distributors.  Any lucky beachcomber though, would be better off just selling them – they are currently changing hands at £500 each.

What started as a freak accident has offered the opportunity for studying climate change, ocean currents and carbon cycle.

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