The Weirdest Things Ever Found on British Beaches
And yes, it includes giant lego.
Britain is home to thousands of miles of beautiful coastline - from Brighton to Bamburgh, Cornwall to Camber Sands and Whitstable to Whitley Bay. Our oceans are home to fascinating creatures such as seals, basking sharks and even sea turtles.
But, according to the Marine Conservation Society, our coastlines are full of litter threatening our native wildlife. During their Great British Beach Clean in 2015, the charity found 3,298 pieces of litter per kilometre – the most they’d ever recorded.
This is a huge problem. Animals, birds and fish can get tangled up in rubbish or eat it by accident.
A load of old rubbish
There are all kinds of junk being ditched on our beaches and washed up into the ocean: duvets, toilet seats, fire extinguishers, Christmas trees and more have all been found during MSC beach cleans… They’ve even found half a canoe and half a TV!
Not to mention several sets of false teeth, pregnancy tests, intravenous drip equipment and, just a few months ago in Portishead, a colostomy bag.
As well as all these things that clearly shouldn’t be on the beach, there have been some that were downright weird.
Earlier this summer, mysterious round objects were found across beaches in Devon and Cornwall. Some people wondered whether they were poisonous – or worse, alien – but it turned out they were ‘sea potatoes’, a type of sea urchin.
Some people, though, HAVE found aliens… well, almost. A walker on Old Portsmouth Beach thought they’d stumbled across a dead body but it turned out to be a life-size replica of E.T. which had recently been stolen from a pensioner.
E.T. wasn’t the only toy to show up on the beach. Collectors across Devon, Cornwall and Ireland have picked up thousands of pieces of Lego after a ship carrying millions of the toy figures was caught in a storm in 1997!
There was also a giant Lego figure found on Brighton beach in 2008 – if it wasn’t a publicity stunt (which Lego insisted it wasn’t), who knows where he came from?!
Bomb disposal experts had to be called to Calshot beach, Hampshire, in 2011 when EIGHTY SEVEN undetonated British WWII bombs were washed up on the beach. Experts believed the Supermoon (when the moon is so close to the earth it causes particularly strong tides) could have disturbed them from the ocean bed.
Picking up flotsam and jetsam? Watch what you’re playing with… in 2011, an unsuspecting teen in Polzeath, Cornwall, found a piece of wood to use as a cricket bat. Except it wasn’t wood. It was the femur bone of a sailor shipwrecked hundreds of years ago!
Even more gruesome, this year, a tourist found a severed human foot on an Anglesey beach.
And just WTF?!
Then there’s just the totally random. A mini ‘hamster size’ wooden coffin was found in Carsethorn, Scotland, in May 2015...it was empty.
Also in Scotland, a bucket of LIVE RATS was found in September 2004.
You can help!
All this rubbish shouldn’t be on our beaches. But you can help clean it up.
From the 16th – 19th September 2016, the Marine Conservation Society is calling for volunteers to help fix this litter problem by joining The Great British Beach Clean.
Last year over 6,000 volunteers cleaned 340 beaches - and the charity needs your support again this year. So grab some friends, sign up to a beach cleaning event near you and help protect our amazing ocean and coastline.
Written by Melissa Hobson.