Imagine this: You and your sun-kissed lover are frolicking down the meandering and pristine shore of a secluded beach. The frothing waves—probably mimicking your churning passion—begin to envelop your entwined limbs, when all of a sudden, an entire dorm's worth of instant ramen packages buries your lover. You begin to desperately claw at the pulsating mass when you are struck in the back of the neck by a bottle of Yellow Tail. As your eyes slowly flicker shut, you see the dim outline of an octopus clutching a jar of Sanka and you slip into your watery grave.
Pulitzer-worthy embellishments aside, the scene that unfolded above could have possibly—maybe—happened to you, should you have been traversing a beach alongside the Atlantic coast of Florida recently.
Residents and tourists alike gathered in bemusement along beaches in Fort Pierce, Florida after tons of totally random goods like wine, instant ramen packages, coffee, pet food, and detergent began to mysteriously wash ashore. For most of Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, scavengers gathered along the shore of Pepper Park Beach and other beaches as far as 50 miles south.
"This morning, I'm looking out the window, and I'm saying, 'Is that coffee out there?' So my husband came down and took a look, and sure enough, we had enough for the whole building," explained Fort Pierce resident Jan Hixon to ABC affiliate WPBF. One local lifeguard, Grayson Money, told WPBF that he believes the goods might have slipped out of massive containers and fallen off of barges anchored in the Palm Beach port last Sunday.
The US Coast Guard released a statement on Tuesday telling beachgoers "to not approach or open any containers in the water on shore." The statement also said that a barge named the Columbia Elizabeth reported losing as many as 25 containers somewhere between Cape Canaveral and Palm Beach. So far, only nine containers are confirmed to have fallen overboard the Columbia Elizabeth.
This isn't the only report of groceries washing ashore of late. Jumping to the other side of the ocean, Italian archaeologists have uncovered an incredibly rare sunken Roman vessel containing 3,000 jars of that iconic Roman fish sauce, garum.
Will Italians flock to the seaside and attempt to score some of the ancient fish sauce? Unlikely. But in Florida, some residents are doing their shopping at the beach.
Will mysterious coffee containers and ramen packages overtake equally mysterious coolers of cocaine as the chief items to wash ashore in Florida? Who can say for sure, but the residents of Fort Pierce are probably hoping so.