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Rubber Ducky Flotilla Nearing Britain

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In 1992, a cargo of 29,000 plastic (not rubber) ducks, turtles, and frogs was swept overboard from a container ship. The ship was bound for Seattle, carrying a cargo of toys manufactured in China. When the toys' containers fell overboard, they broke open, releasing the toys to the ocean currents. Since their voyage began in 1992, the ducks have been floating around the world's oceans, turning up on beaches across the globe.

Retired Oceanographer Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer has been tracking the toys on their journey and predicting their future path using ocean current models. (Ebbesmeyer studies all sorts of floating stuff, calling his science "flotsametrics.") According to Ebbesmeyer's predictions, the toys will start washing up on British beaches soon. If you find one of these ducks on the beach, check for two identifying characteristics: it should be bleached white by the sun, and it will bear the manufacturer's name: "The First Years." There are many references online to a $100 reward for returned ducks, but links to the reward page no longer work.

You can read more about the toys' journey in recent U.K. coverage: The Daily Mail, BBC News, and The Times Online. Also of interest: a list of resources related to the duckies, Ebbesmeyer's page on the duckies, and a 2003 NPR interview with Ebbesmeyer.

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iStock
China Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Restore the Great Wall
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iStock

The Great Wall of China has been standing proudly for thousands of years—but now, it needs your help. CNN reports that the wall has fallen into disrepair and the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation has launched an online crowdfunding campaign to raise money for restorations.

Stretching 13,000 miles across northern China, the Great Wall was built in stages starting from the third century BCE and reaching completion in the 16th century. To some degree, though, it’s always been under construction. For centuries, individuals and organizations have periodically repaired and rebuilt damaged sections. However, the crowdfunding campaign marks the first time the internet has gotten involved in the preservation of the ancient icon. The China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation is trying to raise $1.6 million (11 million yuan) to restore the wall, and has so far raised $45,000 (or 300,000 yuan).

Fundraising coordinator Dong Yaohui tells the BBC that, although the Chinese government provides some funds for wall repairs, it’s not enough to fix all of the damage: "By pooling the contribution of every single individual, however small it is, we will be able to form a great wall to protect the Great Wall," he said.

[h/t CNN]

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YouTube // Deep Look
These Glowing Worms Mimic Shining Stars
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YouTube // Deep Look

The glow worms of New Zealand's Waitomo caves produce light, mimicking the starry night sky. Using sticky goop, they catch moths and other flying creatures unfortunate enough to flutter into the "starry" cavern. Beautiful and icky in equal parts, this Deep Look video takes you inside the cave, and up close with these worms. Enjoy:

There's also a nice write-up with animated GIFs if you're not in the mood for video. Want more glow worms? Check out this beautiful timelapse in a similar cave, or our list of 19 Places You Won't Believe Exist topped by—you guessed it—New Zealand's Glowworm Caves!

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