The Rubber Ducky was made for the bathtub but not all of them ended up there. Some turned to a new exciting life as oceanographers. How can a plastic duck work and learn science, you might ask. The story begins on a China cargo ship in the Pacific Ocean bound for America.

It was January 10, 1992. As nightfall fell on the ship a storm erupted. Sailors worked hard to keep things steady but destiny’s hand had a different fate for 29,000 floaties. These yellow ducks, blue turtles and green frogs were together in a giant container that tipped off the ship and into the ocean. As the package was buffeted by the waves and became waterlogged, it broke apart.

Soon these rubber animals were on the journey of a lifetime. In 22 years they have traveled over 17,000 miles. They’ve had vacations in the warmth of the sun in coastal waters off Hawaii. Others have spent time trapped in the ice flows of the Arctic. They’ve traveled over the wreck of the Titanic.

At journey’s end they have landed bleached and white on the sandy beaches of America’s eastern seaboard. These plucky creatures stamped on the bottom The First Years Inc. have done more for science than the government’s floats designed to track the ocean’s currents. People don’t think to report floats but a rubber ducky? These guys get the buzz.

If found, England will pay 50 pounds, America will give a $100 Savings Bond. So if you find one of these bathing friends, they have a wonderful story to tell.

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