Turns out there’s a lot more than broken plastic shovels and long-lost car keys found on the world’s beaches. United Kingdom-based company Barrington Freight pulled together a list of 30 oddball items that have shown up on coasts around the world. Here are six of our favorites:
57 love letters
After Hurricane Sandy, a bundle of letters were found that were sent from a woman to her boyfriend during WWII. The person who discovered the correspondence managed to find the sender and return her messages. Cue the collective “aww.”
60,000 Nike Shoes
Well, not all of them have washed up quite yet. A massive number of sneakers were lost at sea during a hurricane in 1990. Oceanographers used the remaining floaters to track ocean currents. Turns out the same thing happened with bundles of plastic beavers, frogs, turtles, and ducks in a similar situation in 1992.
Related: The World's Strangest Beaches
One Harley Davidson Motorbike
Not only did the bike survive a Japanese tsunami, but it traveled over 4,000 miles to Canada, arriving on a beach in its original container. In a surprising turn of events, the owner was contacted through the license plate.
Two Tombstones from the 1800s
Grim, but true. These wayward markers were included in a man-made sea wall from 1940s and managed to break loose. Nevertheless, San Francisco beach-goers received a bit of a surprise when these showed up on the shore.
Thousands of Bananas
In 2007, several containers holding thousands of bananas were sent adrift after falling off of a ship. Most of them were still edible after washing up on shore, much to the delight of people living in Terschelling, Netherlands.
Five Million (Million!) Lego Pieces
Stepping on one Lego is bad enough—just imagine thousands of them lining a beach full of barefoot swimmers. Close to 5 million pieces hit the sea in 1997, traveling from Lands End in the UK to the beaches of Devon and Cornwall. Turns out people actually collect the derelict building blocks.
Check out the full list here.
Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.