Skip to main content

13 Bizarre Things That Washed Up on Beaches

Thousands of snowballs

Russia Map

(Image credit: Bardocz Peter | Shutterstock.com)

A beach in Siberia was recently blanketed by something unexpected — scores of orb-like snowballs in sizes ranging from that of a tennis ball to nearly 3 feet (1 meter) in diameter.

Local news reports described the balls first appearing on the ice-covered beach in late October, with the spheres shaped by winds and the movement of the tides. Though this is a natural phenomenon, it is quite rare, with long-time residents in the area reporting that they had never seen it before.

Giant squid

On Oct. 1, 2013, a 30-foot-long giant squid washed ashore in the Spanish community of Cantabria.

(Image credit: Enrique Talledo, www.enriquetalledo.com)

Enormous squids that dwell in the deep ocean are rarely seen by people — unless they happen to die and wash up on land, as did a giant squid (Architeuthis dux), the largest known invertebrate, in 2013.

The sizable beast beached in October at the La Arena beach in Cantabria, Spain; it measured 30 feet (9 meters) in length and weighed a staggering 400 pounds (180 kilograms).

Robot hand

Robot hand on beach

(Image credit: Nicole Haroutunian, photo courtesy of Underwater New York.)

The organization Underwater New York, a digital multimedia art journal, features works inspired by unusual objects that wash up on shores and lurk in the depths of waterways around New York City.

One of its recently documented finds — a lonely mechanical hand with articulated fingers — was spotted on the shore of Great Kills Park Beach, in Staten Island. Other peculiar submerged discoveries mentioned by the journal include a grand piano and dead giraffe, both of which were found in Lower New York Bay.

Mindy Weisberger
Mindy Weisberger is a senior writer for Live Science covering general science topics, especially those relating to brains, bodies, and behaviors in humans and other animals — living and extinct. Mindy studied filmmaking at Columbia University; her videos about dinosaurs, biodiversity, human origins, evolution, and astrophysics appear in the American Museum of Natural History, on YouTube, and in museums and science centers worldwide. Follow Mindy on Twitter.