A massive, 66-foot concrete dock mysteriously washed up on the Oregon shore this week. And officials are trying to figure out if the floating structure had traveled all the way from Japan after the March 2011 tsunami.
Local affiliate KATU reports that the dock has a placard with Japanese writing that they are attempting to translate. In addition, the station traced a phone number on the placard to a business located in Tokyo.
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department sent a picture of the placard to the Japanese consulate in Portland for review.
"We don't know where it's from," said Chris Havel with the parks department. "We don't know if it's from Japan or not but we have to eliminate those possibilities as we go forward."
Even if the dock did travel thousands of miles to reach the shores of Oregon, it did not defy physics to get arrive there. While the structure is nearly 70 feet long, 7 feet tall and 19 feet wide and made of concrete and metal, it was also reportedly designed to float.
The dock was first spotted floating offshore but has now made its way to land. Kirk Tite was walking along the beach on Tuesday with his two sons and described the dock as a "massive hunk of concrete and metal covered in sea creatures." They also found a Japanese symbol and imprint on tires attached to the dock, although those could simply indicate that the tires themselves were made in Japan.
(AP Photo/The Oregonian, Lori Tobias)
"It says Shibata, Japan, which could mean it was made in Shibata, Japan, but it could also be from Shibata, Japan," Tite said.
KATU says that after officials determine the dock's origin, the parks department will either have it towed back to sea or dismantled on land.