12 Unusual Things That Have Washed Ashore
7 A man in Florida discovered a giant eyeball that had washed up on Pompano Beach.
In 2012, a beachgoer in Florida discovered a softball-sized eyeball that had washed ashore on Pompano Beach. Soon, numerous theories were popping up on the origins of this mysterious eyeball. Did it belong to a giant squid? Or perhaps a bigeye thresher shark? Maybe even an unusually large sailfish? However, experts soon quashed them all with a probable source. According to them, the blue, grapefruit-sized eyeball likely belonged to a giant swordfish. Since the eyeball had a bit of bone left on its side, they were able to rule out sharks as its source (sharks have cartilage).
This then narrowed down the list, allowing them to arrive at this answer. However, researchers still had to carry out a genetic test before releasing their final findings. They also believed that there was some human interaction involved in this find. It is quite likely that fishermen had cut off the eyeball from a dead fish and intended to keep it as a souvenir. The eyeball was even set to be added to the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute’s specimen collection. (1, 2)
8 In Finland, smooth balls of ice rolled ashore on a beach and piled up like a gigantic clutch of “ice eggs.”
In 2019, amateur photographer Risto Mattila came across a rather strange sight. A beach in Finland was covered by thousands of egg-shaped ice balls, much like a clutch of turtle eggs. The balls covered some thirty meters (one hundred feet) of an area on land, with the largest of them being as big as a football.
These “ice eggs,” experts say, are formed as a result of a rare weather phenomenon. They are typically formed from pieces of larger ice sheets that then get jostled about by waves. As a result, the pieces become rounder. Later, when the sea water freezes onto their surfaces, these balls can grow and become smoother. Finally, they get deposited on land by gusts of wind or are left behind when the tide goes out. Similar sights have been reported in the past. In 2016, residents of Nyda in Siberia found giant balls of ice and snow covering an eleven-mile stretch of coastline. (1, 2)
9 In 2021, large globs of tar washed up on Israel’s coastline.
In 2021, Israel’s beautiful Mediterranean coastline was marred by an unfortunate incident. Thick globs of tar washed up along its length, much to the dismay of environmental activists. The authorities even went on to call it one of the worst environmental disasters to hit the country. But thankfully, thousands of volunteers and soldiers signed up to clean the mess.
As per reports, the spill was likely produced during a storm from a ship some fifty kilometers (thirty miles) off the coast. Authorities also used satellite imagery and wave patterns to trace the ship responsible for this disaster. Sadly, the damage had already been done. Dozens of tons of tar had been found on the coastline, and it was feared that it would take months or even years to clean it all up. (1, 2)
10 In 2020, gold coins and jewelry began to wash up on a beach in Venezuela.
While walking back to his tin-roofed hut on Venezuela’s Caribbean coast, a fisherman named Yolman Lares saw something glistening along the shore. Raking his hand through the sand, he quickly discovered that the glistening item was a gold medallion with an image of the Virgin Mary.
The village of Guaca, the site of this discovery, was once at the center of Venezuela’s fish processing industry. But things took a turn for the worse when the village was faced by a lack of gasoline and the closure of its small fish-packing plants. This discovery then came as a godsend, and when word spread, many villagers soon joined the hunt for more treasure. Chemical tests suggested that the gold was manufactured in Europe in recent decades. However, no one really knows where exactly the gold came from. (1, 2)
11 In 2012, some World War II-era love letters washed ashore during Superstorm Sandy.
While walking along a beach in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, a day after Superstorm Sandy had struck, a fourteen-year-old boy made an interesting discovery. He found fifty-seven love letters, all from the World War II era, inside a box. These letters chronicled the lives of Dorothy Fallon and Lynn Farnham from 1942 until the week before they married in 1948.
The boy’s mother, Katheleen Chaney, soon decided to play detective. She then found out that Farnham had died in 1991. A niece also contacted her to say that ninety-one-year-old Dorothy Fallon Farnham was in frail health in Asbury Park, New Jersey. The letters are believed to have floated from the Rumson area, down the Shrewsbury River, and into Sandy Hook Bay. (1, 2)
12 Part of a World War II-era plane washed ashore on a St. Johns County beach, Florida.
It’s not every day that a World War II artifact washes ashore on a beach. But in 2020, a part of a World War II-era plane came ashore on a St. Johns County beach in Florida. It appeared to be the backend of a plane, likely an F4F Wildcat, that had crashed during a training mission.
The piece was about eight feet long and five feet in diameter. Some history buffs even cross-examined it with old photographs to confirm the match. Chuck Meide, a marine archaeologist with the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program, had also been looking into this find. According to him, there used to be an aircraft carrier operating out of Mayport Naval Station during the war. As a result, planes were often departing and landing in the area.
In the past, some old planes have been sunk intentionally to make artificial reefs. However, this one did not seem to be such a plane. What gave this away was the tail hook which was still lodged into the tail section. Had the plane been intentionally sunk, this hook would have been removed. (1, 2)
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