The Internet and other means were used to advertise the availability of these shoes at bargain prices and also to trade with others in order to find a matching shoe in the same size.

Curtis Ebbesmeyer, an oceanographer with Evans-Hamilton Inc., learned that beachcombers were finding free shoes and immediately recognized that fate had created a superb North Pacific Current measurement experiment. Announcements appeared in the local press for people to report shoe findings and to include in these reports the date, location, and an identification number from the shoe. From the records of hundreds of individual “thousand league boots,” researchers compiled a detailed profile of current speed and direction that showed reasonable agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s computer model of Pacific Ocean currents.

A year or so later, some shoes reached the Big Island of Hawaii. At this point, they were truly “thousand league boots.”12 Ebbesmeyer predicted that if others remain intact in the ocean long enough, some will reach Asia and Japan.

Other container spills have added further confirmation of ocean current behavior. Ebbesmeyer reported a spill of 12 more cargo containers in January 1992—one of which contained thousands of small floating bathtub toys. Small yellow ducks, green frogs, blue turtles, and others successfully “swam” across the North Pacific and reached the beaches near Sitka, Alaska. Eventually some may be carried north and then east by the Alaska Current, eventually becoming part of the Arctic ice pack. In 1994, thousands of hockey gloves were lost at sea; they are now following the course of the bathtub toys. And in December 2002, a container ship ran into heavy weather off Cape Mendocino, California, and lost several containers overboard, releasing more Nike shoes into the Davidson Current. A month later, these shoes started coming ashore along the Washington coast after a journey of some 450 nautical miles.13


Knowing that the earth rotates around the sun, its surface largely covered with seawater in constant motion due to gravitational forces and

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