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You’ll Be Amazed by these Surreal Things to Wash Up on Florida’s Beaches…

Last year, a gigantic eyeball went viral when it washed up on Pompano Beach in Florida. People all over the world wanted to know the origins of the mysterious peeper. But it wasn’t the first time a bizarre discovery had been made on the sands of Florida. In fact, weird and wonderful things have been washing up here for years. It turns out it’s not just holidaymakers who are attracted to Florida’s beautiful beaches, but everything from giant Lego men to dead mermaids. We combed the net and found some of the most weird, wonderful and downright unbelievable things ever to be found on the Sunshine State’s shores.

1. A Giant Lego Man

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Above: In October 2011, locals were baffled when this 8 foot Lego man washed up on Siesta Key Beach. Weighing in at a hefty 100lb, the enormous toy bore a cryptic message on his t-shirt: “No Real Than You Are”. The scene echoed that on British shores in 2008, when a similar mega Lego man arrived suddenly on Brighton beach. In both cases, the stunt was thought to be the work of Dutch artist Ego Leonard.

2. A Grand Piano

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Above: Earlier in 2011, this musical instrument mystified onlookers when it appeared suddenly on a sandbank around 200 metres away from the shore in Miami’s Biscayne Bay. Remaining above water when the tide came in, it created a beautiful (if odd) silhouette. All was revealed when 16-year-old student Nicholas Harrington came forward, admitting that he and his brother had taken the piano out to the spot on a motorboat to create a photo shoot spot for a music video, all part of his application for art school.

3. An Odd Eye

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Above: The thing that got us thinking about what washes up on Florida’s beaches was this rather gruesome find from 2013. A beachcomber on Pompano Beach came across the discovery and suddenly it was being shared all over the world. But no one was quite sure which creature the eye came from, causing speculation about sea monsters and mythical beasts. The ‘mystery eye’ became one of the most viral new stories of last year. In the end, experts stepped in and declared that it probably came from a swordfish.

4. $30k of Pirate’s Treasure

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Above: Not quite washed up on a beach, but this is close enough… Everyone knows that pirates used to bury precious loot, but few of us expect to find it in this day and age. Not so the Schmitts, from Sanford, Florida, who like to spend their family time hunting down ancient treasures. They’ve been searching around the wreckage of a fleet of 11 Spanish ships off the coast of Florida for years – and in 2o13, they finally struck it lucky. Just off the coast of Fort Pierce, the scavenging family found $300,000 of 300-year-old Spanish gold chains and coins.

5. The Ashes of a Travel-loving Man

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Above: Last year, Judi Glunz Sidney was picking up litter from Key Colony Beach, when she came across a plastic bottle with money and a note inside. She soon realised that the bottle also contained the ashes of Gordon ‘Skinny’ Smith, a Tennessee man who’d passed away the previous year. He loved to travel, so when he died, his wife dropped his ashes into the ocean along with a note and two dollars, so that whoever found him could call her and let her know where he had sailed to. It wasn’t the first time Gordon had been found: a man called Ross had come across him in the Florida Keys just a few months before. The very special message in a bottle continues its voyage – who knows if it will land in the Sunshine State again?

6. Dead Mermaids

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Above: (Dead, as opposed to the usual live and flapping mermaids you find on the beach.) These videos of pretty convincing-looking mummified mermaids have been doing the rounds on Youtube and Facebook for a couple of years. They were apparently washed up on the beaches at Fort Desoto and Gators Pass, Florida, after a hurricane. Although they might look pretty damn terrifying, they aren’t real (you knew that. right?) and are actually the brainchild of yet another pesky artist. Tampa resident Juan Cabana creates the carcasses using a sickening mix of fish parts, taxidermy and pro-building skills. His work echoes that of famous hoaxes in years gone by – and some people even fork out hundreds or thousands of dollars to have the freaky sculptures for themselves.

7. An Enormous Monster

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Above: Back in the days before things went viral, when men used to hang out on Florida beaches in hats and three piece suits, this thing appeared on the Sunshine State sands. It was 1896- and no one really had a clue what the thing was. Rather than spread like wildfire on Facebook, it just got rather a lot of people stroking their chins and trying to figure out what the heck it could be, sparking all sorts of stories about creatures of the deep. It weighed an estimated 5 tonnes and was thought to be a ‘globster’ (unidentified mass washed up on a beach) or a giant octopus. Research in the nineties concluded that it was more likely to be a hefty chunk of whale blubber. Yuck.

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