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July 18, 2008


srikanth @ 9:33 pm, GMT +0000 ( 1216416789 ) Play

(Question from Dibyo)

Oceanography got a boost from a storm that hit in Jan 1992. The flow of events is depicted in this image:

What happened during the storm?

Cracked by WikiWaki , sidsen , gudanggurum , Srivats , Guneet , rajeshvj , akhi , malcaluffin , insufferablejake , madhur , Ananth and shenoyvarun86.


This is the path of the “friendly floatees“. A tanker full of plastic bath toys capsized somewhere in the Atlantic. Since they float, they followed ocean currents and started ending up in all sorts of strange places. This gave oceanographers a whole ton of data to work on! Check the wikipedia page for tons of info.

15 Responses to “Eureka?”

  1. WikiWaki

    Duckies went overboard and floated all across the world.

  2. sidsen

    Do de Rubber Duck

  3. Gurupad

    Toy ducks were being shipped to the US from Hong Kong when three 40ft containers fell into the Pacific during a storm on January 29, 1992. Two thirds of them floated south through the tropics, landing months later on the shores of Indonesia, Australia and South America. But 10,000 headed north and by the end of the year were off Alaska and heading back westwards. It took three years for the ducks to circle east to Japan, past the original drop site and then back to Alaska on a current known as the North Pacific Gyre before continuing north towards the Arctic.

  4. Srivats

    Some 30000 rubber ducks were washed off a ship. Two-thirds of the ducks floated south and landed three months later on the shores of Indonesia, Australia, and South America. The remaining 10,000 ducks headed north to Alaska and then completed a full circle back near Japan, caught up in the North Pacific Gyre current as the so called Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Many of the ducks then entered the Bering Strait between Alaska and Russia and were trapped in the Arctic ice. They moved through the ice at a rate of one mile per day, and in 2000 they were sighted in the North Atlantic. The movement of the ducks had been monitored by American oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer. Anyone who finds a duck can claim a $100 reward from First Years Inc….

    Quote from Wiki… :P

  5. Guneet

    During a sea storm in Jan 1992, some containers carrying plastic toys from Hong Kong to Tacoma, Washington were washed overboard. One tore open and several thousand plastic toys were spilled in the ocean. These started landing on shores some 10 months later. The map show the course taken by the toys and how these have helped oceanographers track ocean currents.

  6. Rohan

    tropical storm ekeka, which helped in the understanding of el nino? it was a rare out of season storm which formed in january and at a very low latitude, at which normally the coriolis effect cannot fuel a hurricane. It is the only known tropical cyclone to occur during the month of February or January in the Pacific Ocean east of the dateline.

    just guessing, of course.

  7. rajeshvj

    Friendly Floatees.

    A toy-spillage in the Pacific during a storm in 1992, eventually led to study of ocean currents.

  8. akhi

    The travel of the “Friendly Floatees” .

  9. malcaluffin

    it is the story of the rubber duckie…washed overboard during a 1992 storm in the Pacific, thousands of rubber ducks and other floating toys are expected to land on the shores of the United Kingdom this year, completing their epic journey around the world…as depicted in the map.

  10. the voyage of the ducks, or as wikipedia puts it ‘te friendly floatees’ —

    Solid question. Mod++ for story value.

  11. madhur

    During Jan 1992, a cargo ship hit by the storm lost a container overboard which held 7,200 packages of plastic toys, including thousands of rubber duckies.

    Years later, the path these duckies swam were traced and studied to learn about the movements of the ocean currents.

  12. Ananth

    The Rubber Duck toy spill. Ocean current pathways were researched by following the drifting ducks.

  13. What google says is….The “Friendly Floatees”, ie toys esp ducks were thrown out from the ship hit by the storm … the toys are used as a source to measure speeds of ocean currents

  14. Dibyo

    I couldn’t post since I was out of town: Friendly Floatees

  15. srikanth

    @Dibyo: You’ve been pointsified…

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