The Rubber Duckies Are Landing!
20,000 of them went southward...washing ashore several months later in Australia, Indonesia, and even South America.
For the remaining 10,000 Friendly Floaties, their journey was just beginning. This Rubber Armada went north, lazily floating towards Alaska and the Beiring Strait. There, they met the harsh Arctic Ice. Incredibly, they managed to move a mile per day while frozen in ice, continuing their amazing North-West route towards the Atlantic Ocean.
Curtis Ebbesmeyer, (pictured left) an oceanographer based out of Seattle, has been tracking them from the very beginning. He and other scientists have been very interested in the Friendly Floaties' journey, tracking their route and using that information to learn more about global ocean currents.
“They are a nice tracer for what the currents are doing as they travel around the world, and currents are what determines our climate, and cycles of carbon," said Simon Boxall, of the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, UK.
After the ducks survived the Arctic Ice, it was in 2000 when they were tracked in the North Atlantic. In 2001, they were found to be floating right over the area where the Titanic sank. Seems like the mighty vessel has nothin' on these rubber ducks!
They continued to float, and in 2003, scientists thought the Rubber Armada might make shore on America's Atlantic coast. The manufacturer, The First Years Inc. then put a bounty on each duckies head worth a $100 savings bond! (Only for those found in New England, Iceland, and Canada). Many scientists that this was going to be the end of the Rubber Armada's odyssey.
They were wrong. The rubber duckies that didn't wash up in the US have continued to travel in the Atlantic, and 17,000 miles and 15 years later are now heading towards Britain. They have lost their color, but these tough little ducks are still going strong.
Will they indeed hit the British beaches in the coming days? Computer models say it will happen. How about those Friendly Floaties that don't come ashore?
Their amazing voyage will continue...