For more than thirty years, orange plastic telephones with the image of the Garfield cat have washed up on the beaches of the west of France. The mystery of their origin has just been lifted with the discovery of a container stranded at the bottom of an underwater fault.
“We found this incredible fault that is in the 30 meters deep and at the bottom there are the remains of a container,” said Thursday to AFP Claire Simonin, president of the association Ar Viltansoù who works for the cleanliness of the beaches of Finistere, in the extreme west of Brittany, where phones are stranded.
Regularly for more than thirty years, telephones with the effigy of the famous orange feline created by the American Jim Davis in 1978, ran aground on the Breton beaches without anyone understanding their origin.
“Our association has been in existence for 18 years, and since it exists, Garfield phone parts have been available almost every time,” says Claire Simonin, who says she recently heard testimony from a local resident who said she had discovered in the early 1980s, when he was in his twenties, a ripped container filled with Garfield phones.
“He told us the place, we waited for a very large tidal coefficient, because it is a very, very dangerous place,” says Claire Simonin, about the expedition carried out on the 22nd. March in this cave most of the time submerged located in the town of Plouarzel, north of Conquet.
“Under the boulders in front of the entrance to the fault we found 23 complete handsets with electronics and wires, there were everywhere,” she says.
Still, the mystery is not fully lifted. “We have no idea what happened at the time, we do not know where it came from, what boat, we do not know if they are several containers that fell into the water or only one, “says Fabien Boileau, director of the Iroise Marine Nature Park, who also visited the cave.
According to the World Shipping Council (WSC), the association of container ship owners around the world, 1390 containers fell into the sea in 2017, an estimate that is likely to be lower than the reality, however, due to hiding or underreporting accidents.