# Mystery solved: why has a beach in France been blighted by washed-up parts for toy Garfield phones for more than 30 years?

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/03/27/ring-ring-lasagne-phone.html

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So… How about the Canadian severed feet, then? I hope that has a drastically different explanation.

Edit: An average of 1500 containers get lost at sea every year…

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the sea has done its job for thirty years.

Old French saying, wise.

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Les Mystère des Téléphones Garfield is my favorite tintin book

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I can imagine archaeologists thousands of years from now digging up a 20th century shipping container filled with Sponge Bob figurines.

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Orcas…blood thirsty orcas.

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Bien reçu!

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Is 200 phones over 30+ years really “blighted?”

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They’ll have to figure that one out right after they solve the riddle of why there was such a massive amount of denim fabric found in the ruins of college campuses while the documentary record of the yearbook clearly indicates that college students only actually wore sports uniforms and black tie formal-wear.

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(edit: spoiler-tagged for those who’d rather preserve the mystery of the feet!)

It’s the sneakers.

Bodies break apart as they decompose in the ocean and mostly get waterlogged and sink. The feet, if they’re wearing sneakers with foam soles, float.

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Needs more ninjas.

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“Undoubtably used for ceremonial purposes.”

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I imagine 200 is just the number that have been collected. A standard container would be able to hold more than 200; I’d imagine tens of thousands.

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In the interest of a jelly bean contest, I would guess each pallet would have 1,000 pieces, and there are probably more than 4 pallets deep, maybe 2 rows of 4. They can’t stack them 2 high, unless there is some sort of shelving (who knows with 1980s containers?) and so, I am guessing a minimum of 8,000. Unless, maybe 1,000 / pallet is a bit high, it might be closer to 600, based on the size of a phone. So That’s 4,800. Final answer.

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It was like they were speaking another language???

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Seemed pretty obvious to me that this was the cause as soon as I read it.

I wonder about how much waste in the oceans comes from containers, not all break open but I’m sure enough do to make a shitty difference.

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I assumed that they wouldn’t have been individually packed, since they were probably due to be assembled into the complete phones elsewhere, so visualised them as a mass with each unit taking up less than a litre. A 20’ container takes up roughly 36,000 litres, less a bit for the internal volume.

Of course, I’m assuming they would have filled the container, and I have no idea how efficient the shippers would have been in filling that space. A thousand per pallet sounds a bit low to me, though. If you can fit two phone parts in a litre, that’s only about half a metre deep.

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1500 containers would be enough for one small container ship’s cargo for one voyage. Considering the amount of cargo shipped worldwide in a year, it’s not much from commerce’s point of view, and I dare say doesn’t make a lot of difference compared to the amount of plastic we dump annually either.

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