Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Knotted Orb

Norwegians are credited with having invented the glass fishing float in 1841. By 1910, Japanese glassblowers were melting their used sake bottles and making glass floats to supply their vast deep sea fishing fleets, who needed buoyant support for miles of nets. Hollow glass balls full of air were able to support up to 50 miles of nets strung together and set adrift. By the 1940s, glass floats had been replaced by wood and cork, both of which have since been replaced by styrofoam, plastic, or aluminum. Abandoned glass balls still float in the circular ocean currents of the northern Pacific Ocean, and a storm can dislodge an occassional float from its course. This particular basketball sized glass float, still wrapped with original knotting, was spotted from a helicopter and plucked from the Pacific by an intrepid Navy Seal.

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