Mystery of strange plaque discovery on beaches may be solved

Mystery of Strange Discovery on Beaches Solved?
Mystery of Strange Discovery on Beaches Solved?

People, young and old, are finding plaques washing up on beaches all over the world. Printed with a mysterious name "Tjipetir." What are these and where are they coming from?

To find out, let's take a journey 100 years into the past and go halfway around the world to Java, Indonesia, in the early 1900s. We land at the gutta-percha plantation called Tjipetir.

Before plastic was commonly used, this substance was used to make teddy bear noses, golf balls, firemen's hoses and much more. The plaques floating around are blocks of this substance.

According to the BBC, for a time there was some excitement that the plaques were from the Titanic, as they were listed on the ship's manifest. But, now it seems more likely they're coming from a sunken Japanese ship off the coast of Sicily, the Miyazaki Maru, sunk by a German U-boat in WWI.

Recent salvage work on the ship may have released the rubber-like plates into the sea, and now they're washing up on shores near and far.

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