Moby Duck

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Back in 1992 a shipping container filled with 28.000 rubber duckies was lost in the Pacific Ocean… but some of the flotilla of yellow ducks are still washing ashore around the globe today. Now the amazing seafaring odyssey of these plastic toys has been mapped after they spilled out of a container which had been swept off the deck of a merchant ship.

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The story of these rubber duckies lost at sea garnered international attention when the plastic toys began appearing on shores all around the world. They were recently brought back to attention in the last few years with the release of Donovan Hohn’s book Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea. It delves into the tale of these rubber ducks lost in ocean currents but also explains how they were able to travel around the world and the role they played in helping researchers understand how the Earth’s seas behave.

The actual accident occurred in 1992, when a cargo ship that was traveling from China to Seattle encountered bad weather. One of the shipping containers that was lost and fell into the water was destined for First Years Inc., a toy company in the United States, and was home to 28,000 plastic ducks. The incident became famous when the ducks began appearing in various parts of the world and the toys quickly acquired the nickname “Friendly Floatees” thanks to their colorful and cute appearance.

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Although the ducks fell into the sea in the North Pacific, they were able to travel vast distances all around the world. Some showed up in the Pacific region as you might expect, washing up on shores in Hawaii and other nearby locations. However, they were also able to reach places even further away. Making their way past Newfoundland and into the Atlantic Ocean, they were able to pass through arctic ice, where many became trapped, and eventually land in the United Kingdom some 15 years after they first entered the water.

While the story of the ducks became well known due to the bizarre nature of the events, they also played an important scientific role. Oceanographers have used their journeys around the world’s oceans to help plot the different currents and gyres that exist. By being able to track them precisely from their starting point, scientists were able to discover how big these ocean currents are and exactly how long they take to complete a circuit. This not only helps them understand exactly how the water flows around the planet but should also help them to predict how climate change will affect the oceans and marine life.

the-author-of-the-book-had-to-quit-his-job-and-travel-for-months-photo-u1The author, Donovan Hohn, had no real intention of writing the book Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea when he first began researching the incident. However, his curiosity soon got the better of him when he realized he was becoming obsessed with the story and wanted to know exactly how it had happened. This meant quitting his full-time job and leaving his wife behind as he travelled around the world with various different groups on an assortment of boats as he set out to discover the story behind the floating ducks.

As might be expected, 28,000+ rubber ducks adrift at sea was good inspiration for a number of books aimed at children. In 2004 Ducky by Caldecott award winner Eve Bunting was published by Sandpiper, and the next year 10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle was published by Harper Collins. Even Disney wanted to get in on the action. Inspired by the travails of rubber ducks lost at sea, the Disney Channel and Disney Junior created Lucky Ducka CGI film loosely based on the Friendly Floatees. It premiered back in June of 2014 but you can still watch the 40-minute film on Amazon.

it-was-the-basis-for-a-disney-movie-photo-u1The fact that many of the ducks were never recovered means that they have become collector’s items. Many of the toys either sunk into the water or became trapped in arctic ice, stopping them from reaching shores where they could be snapped up by anyone passing by. This prompted the American distributor of the toys to offer a $100 for each duck, while sellers have been known to fetch up to $1,000 when putting them on the open market.

[Sources: The Sun, The Ranker: Weird Nature]


Well, this is your new task: writing a summary of this ducking interesting news in at least 50 words. The deadline: next Saturday the 2nd of June.

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Autor: QK

Yo soy mis circunstancias. www.non-serviam.eu

8 comentarios en “Moby Duck”

  1. This is a funny, nice story. It all began when a Chinese ship set off the harbour. Thousands of plastic ducks swept off the deck into the sea. These ducks “swam” all over the ocean and reached different parts of the Earth, due to ocean currents. Inspired by these ducks, the Disney channel made a film,”lucky duck”

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  2. In January 1992, a ship was lost in the Pacific Ocean and thousands of rubber ducks fell into the sea. The rubber ducks have been traveling (thanks to the marine currents) all over the world. This trip, apart from being fun, has helped scientists to study marine currents. The only problem that has been is when they arrived in England after 15 years, the duck dealer offered $100 of reward for each duck collected. That has caused that every time there are less ducks in floating around the world.

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  3. Back in 1992 a shipping container filled with 28.000 rubber duckies was lost in the Pacific Ocean… but some of the flotilla of yellow ducks are still washing ashore around the globe today. The actual accident occurred in 1992, when a cargo ship that was traveling from China to Seattle encountered bad weather. Although the ducks fell into the sea in the North Pacific, they were able to travel vast distances all around the world, for example Hawaii, the Atlantic ocean…
    The history of the rubber ducks became well known, as also the author Donovan Hohn wrote the book of Moby-Duck about this wonderful story.

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  4. 25 years ago a merchandise merchant ship overturned because of a storm.
    This boat was wearing rubber ducks.
    The scientists are using them to follow ocean currents that affect the climate of the planet so much.
    Until now what is known is that they are floating around South Africa, the United Kingdom, Australia, Hawaii; they are even said to be where the TITANIC SUCKED! [!!! sunk]

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  5. The story begins in 1992 when a Chinese ship set off to the USA. Due to the bad weather, a container full of rubber ducks fell into the sea and thousands of ducks sailed in all directions. They were found in different parts of the world. Scientists have also studied the sea currents after the incident.

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  6. A boat that went from China to Seattle with a container full of 28,000 rubber ducks fell into the sea due to bad weather. The ducks were separated and came to different sides. The author, Donovan Hohn, had no real intention of writing the book Moby-Duck: The True; the author of the book had to quit his job and travel for months. He left his wife behind. In 2004, Sandpiper published the winner of the Ducky by Caldecott Award, Eve Bunting, and the following year, Harper Collins published 10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle. Even Disney wanted to get into the action and they made a movie

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  7. In 1992 a cargo ship that was traveling from China to Seattle encountered bad weather. One of the shipping containers that was lost and fell into the water had inside 28,000 plastic ducks inside. The ducks began appearing in various parts of the world and they acquired the nickname “Friendly Floatees”.
    They played an important scientific role and sellers have been known to get up to $1,000 for a duck when putting them on the open market.

    Me gusta

  8. I think it was an amazing fact. The travel of the ducks inspired books, cartoons, and it also helped scientific to plot the different currents and gyres that exist. Hundreds of people think that found finding a duck is a stroke of luck, so that I would like getting to get one of those ducks, they are so cute!

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