Curiosity Killed the Container

National Public Radio recently published a story about an ocean container lying on the ocean floor.

According to the piece, thousands of containers fall off ships every year, never to be recovered or seen again … except for one, found on the seafloor of the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary. Scientists from the sanctuary are now studying the effects that particular container has on deep ocean life.

Possible harmful environmental effects aside, I'm equally interested in the other side of this story: the contents of these containers.

We never seem to hear reports on what's inside those long-lost boxes. Seems like it would be a big deal to lose that amount of cargo. In the case NPR aforementioned case, the container was filled with radial tires.

But do they ever lose containers full of high-demand cargo - like those filled with LCD TVs or Wiis? Do they take better care of those containers?

How does just one container fall off anyway? It's not like the vessel is hitting a pothole or anything. There's got to be a better way to keep these containers under control, right?

Those kiddie backpacks with a leash seem to work well on children. Can't they make those for boxes, too?

If there are truly hundreds or thousands of boxes collecting on sea floors around the world, Somali pirates should invest in deep-sea exploration equipment and recover these boxes themselves. They'd probably find a fortune down there. So what if a bunch of Wiis in a sunken container get a little bit of water in them? No one has to know that.

Maybe they're just full of fish food.

-- Contact Dana L. Brundage at dbrundage@joc.com . Follow her on Twitter @Brundage_joc.

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