Lego Beach

Do you have a Lego-lover in your life?

Or, perhaps an aspiring pirate?


Photo by Ronny Siegel via Wikimedia Commons

Either way, you may not want to mention what I’m about to tell you—unless, of course, you’re ready to hoist anchor and set sail.


photo by Walt Faulds via Wikimedia Commons

Let’s just say that even the most deluxe carton of Legos will no longer quell your budding explorer’s desires.

There’s a little-known destination on the coast of Cornwall, England, that’s sure to inspire desperate dreams of departure and, curiously, Lego lust.

Puzzled? Read on …

It isn’t a matter of scenery, no matter how grand …


Photo by Tom Corser via Wikimedia Commons

The temptation is treasure, booty, loot … Lego loot, to be specific.

Legend has it (well, actually, BBC News reports) that in 1997, nearly five million Lego pieces were lost at sea when a mighty wave hit the Tokio Express freighter, bound for New York, dislodging 62 giant containers.

“Shortly after that, some of those Lego pieces began washing up on both the north and south coasts of Cornwall. They’re still coming in today,” reports BBC’s Mario Cacciottolo. “A quirk of fate meant many of the Lego items were nautical-themed, so locals and tourists alike started finding miniature cutlasses, flippers, spear guns, sea grass, and scuba gear as well as dragons.”

Beachcombing Cornwall resident Tracey Williams began a Facebook page in 2013 to document the local Lego fever.

“These days, the holy grail is an octopus or a dragon. I only know of three octopuses being found, and one was by me, in a cave in Challaborough, Devon,” Williams told BBC. “It’s quite competitive. If you heard that your neighbor had found a green dragon, you’d want to go out and find one yourself.”


Photo by Ronja Wiedenbeck via Legos Lost at Sea

Williams’ Lego Lost At Sea page has over 35,000 fans and offers daily posts, so even if you can’t cast off to Cornwall, you can delight in the finds of other treasure hunters.


Photo by Tracey Williams via Legos Lost at Sea

Granted, there’s the not-so-fun possibility of plastic pollution here, but at least these pieces are being picked up with fervent enthusiasm as they wash ashore. My kids are game, but …

setting sail isn’t really a possibly for us but this is. Did you know it’s easy to make a small dent in Lego plastic production by patronizing Pley, a Lego rental service that encourages a play and pass-it-on philosophy. Imagine how fun to find a new “treasure” in your mailbox every time you trade in a tired set?



  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    This is so interesting! Yes, my girls loved to play Legos with friends and their boy cousins. Although we never had a request for some at home (but we had a virtual stable of Breyer and My Little Pony pieces!), Legos seem to be a universal draw to most people big and small.

    What I love about the beach wash up at Cornwall is that Port Issac, in Cornwall, is the filming location of Doc Martin, the British TV series on PBS. Having become such an ardent fan of the series, Cornwall is now on the top of must go see places. With the Lego information, I now have a second reason to go visit the beaches there! At Port Issac, they have these huge tidal changes where low tide leaves the boats on the sand and exposes huge areas of sand. I am betting there is a great opportunity with each low tide to wander out and find all sorts of interesting things including a possible Lego!

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