Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Giant Washes Up on Florida Beach

A mystery appeared on Siesta Key beach Tuesday morning in the form of an 8-foot Lego man who washed ashore emblazoned with a strange message.

"NO REAL THAN YOU ARE," the fiberglass Lego Man's shirt said.

Resident Jeff Hindman was walking the beach early Tuesday and saw the 100-pound Lego man in the pre-dawn light. He thought it was marine life, washed ashore overnight and left in the gentle ankle-deep surf. Hindman got closer and discovered the Lego statue was made of fiberglass, like a boat hull. He took a photo of the Lego man in the surf, then dragged it out of the water and stood it up.

A gathering crowd threw out theories. An artist's statement about the human condition in the 21st century? A toy that fell off a boat? Or maybe part of a marketing campaign for the new Legoland amusement park in Winter Haven that just opened to great fanfare?

"It doesn't make sense," Hindman said of any of those theories.

The Legoland theory was debunked Tuesday when a spokeswoman for Legoland Florida said the Lego man is a counterfeit and is not endorsed by Legoland or its parent company, Merlin Entertainments Group.

Eventually Tuesday, the mystery unraveled some after it was discovered that similar Lego men with the same slogan have been found on beaches in Holland in 2007 and England in 2008. On the back of the Siesta Key Lego man's shirt is the name "Ego Leonard" and the number 8.
If unclaimed after 90 days, the giant, counterfeit Lego man will be sold on E-Bay.

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