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Rubber Ducks Map Ocean Currents

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Tagged As: Environment, Oceanography, and Science

In 1992, a Chinese vessel dropped several containers overboard while headed towards Seattle. Within some of those containers were thousands of rubber ducks, destined for children's bathwater. Instead, many of the ducks have traveled in excess of 17,000 miles and provided scientists with a peculiar method for tracking ocean currents. Oceanographers often receive more reports on the 29,000 strong duck flock because they are more unusual than conventional buoy experiments. While the toys have been spotted all around the globe, calculations by researcher Curtis C. Ebbesmeyer predict that in the coming months, Great Britain's shores will be the recipient of the traveling ducks as they come south from the arctic ice pack. The ducks have spent the past several years inching slowing through the ice floes.

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