Everybody loves going to the beach, whether it's to swim in the ocean, soak up the sun or maybe even grab a metal detector and trying your luck at treasure hunting. Although there are probably plenty of things buried in the sand, there's more than enough interesting stuff washing ashore on a regular basis that you can find without breaking out a shovel.
These treasures come in all shapes and sizes, from valuable natural substances and/or prepackaged goods lost at sea to trash items and marine animal remains, the beach is a great place to find all kinds of weird and wonderful things. Here are 25 examples of some of the strangest, most fascinating things that beachgoers have found.
1. This chunk of ambergris (a highly valuable whale vomit used to make perfume) was found by a dog walker. It sold for a whopping $16,253 at auction.
2. Huge chunks of ice washed ashore on the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
3. This 30-foot decomposing carcass of a marine animal was found by a couple in Scotland.
4. A shrine of rocks marked with people's hopes and dreams was found on a beach in Oakville (this probably didn't randomly wash ashore, but it's still cool).
5. These kids thought they were playing with an old buoy on the beach, but it turned out to be an unexploded bomb from WWII!
6. This strange-looking object is debris from the crashed SpaceX Falcon 9. It was discovered on the beach at Elbow Bay in the Bahamas.
7. These slimy, purple blobs were found off the coast of California. They are sea hares (a.k.a. sea slugs).
8. This fossilized tooth from a prehistoric shark was found on a beach in North Carolina. It's estimated the shark it belonged to thousands of years ago was likely 60 feet long. Yikes!
9. A rare 200-pound, 15-foot oarfish was found on the beach at Santa Catalina Island in California.
10. This woman lost her wedding ring, which was later found by a kind stranger at Shell Beach. He was able to return the ring to her by posting it to a ring finder website.
11. A weird hybrid mouse-kangaroo toy washed up on the shores of Dead Horse Bay, Brooklyn.
12. Beachgoers of Indialantic, Florida were pleasantly surprised to find thousands of vacuum-sealed cans of Cafe Bustelo coffee washed ashore. How I wish I was there with a pickup truck.
13. Mysterious clumps of black tar washing ashore caused officials to temporarily close Manhattan Beach, California until the mess was cleaned up.
14. A flash storm deposited this yacht onto Navagio Bay in Greece.
15. Blogger Kayla made a rather elegant arrangement of things she found washed ashore, organized by color.
16. These strange little Batman-esque objects are actually the egg cases for the skate fish. They are sometimes referred to as mermaid purses.
17. A prosthetic hand found on a beach in Staten Island, New York. Here's hoping the owner is ok and got a new hand.
18. This prehistoric spearhead, estimated to be between 10,000 and 11,000 years old, was found on a beach near Seaside Heights, New Jersey.
19. A Canadian coast guard hat, encrusted with coral and barnacles, was found on a beach in Ireland.
20. Not everything washing ashore is innocent, however. These bags of a highly illegal narcotic, estimated to be worth around $175,000, were found on a beach near Galveston Island, Texas.
21. An actual seahorse, beached by the current.
22. Thousands of these weird little critters were found on beaches along the southern coast of the United States. They're known as "sea rafts" and although they closely resemble the highly poisonous Portuguese man o' war, these little guys are harmless.
23. Old sea turtles were found on Long Beach, Washington. They were in bad shape due to hypothermia, but thankfully they were nursed back to health after being transferred to the Newport Aquarium.
24. This dead, yellow-bellied sea snake was found on Huntington Beach, California. This snake's venom is powerful enough to paralyze a person.
25. This odd-looking bone is most likely part of some animal's jaw.