Why are there always lemons?

English: Random copolymer brush
English: Random copolymer brush (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m always interested in random happenings. Of course ‘random happenings’ always have a cause. Or less linearly, the whole field of the past results in the outcome at the point in question and all other points at the moment in time under consideration and at future moments in time. Or the space-time continuum is not mutable.

Multiverse (Photo credit: kevin dooley)

Whatever. We have recently had a couple of big storms. it being the winter season, and debris has piled up on the beach. This detritus is mostly of marine origin, mostly seaweed, with a sprinkling of other marine debris, such as mollusc shells, not to mention non-organic materials like rocks and sand.

Debris. Notice the small pieces of plastic.

There is a noticeable contribution of terrestrial origin of course, like tree trunks, limbs and even foliage. A significant portion is of anthropological origin, such as worked wood and plastic, and even concrete, tarmacadam, glass and metals.

The plastic is interesting. With the exception of the occasional chunks of polystyrene foam or similar, most of the plastic debris is small, like the rings from the necks of plastic topped containers or the teats from the tops of water bottles. (Aside: Why buy water when you can get it from the tap?) Whole bottles are rare for some reason.

Debris. If you look carefully you may see a few ballpoint pens.

To get back on topic, one of the things that I’ve noticed about the debris is that some objects tend to be found together – for instance left footed shoes may be found on one beach and right footed shoes on another. There is an unconvincing (to me) theory about this.

Right foot shoe

I’ve discovered that things appear to be washed ashore in groups. This may be a statistical aberration, but, for instance, after a recent storm I came across a group of toothbrushes scattered over a relatively small area. Now, there were about a dozen, which rules out a single source, like a flat or house, and they weren’t packaged in any way so that rules out a commercial source, so what could explain it?

Another time the flotsam consisted in part of  what was probably spoon worm corpses. In two particular areas there were hundreds of the disgusting looking things.

Debris with lemon

I don’t know the reasons for these groupings, but obviously some set of circumstances must have resulted in these happenings. Of more obvious provenance are the mass strandings of jellyfish at some times of the year which are no doubt related to the breeding cycle of these animals and particular wind direction. The occasional tennis balls or golf balls that I spot are easily explained too.

But…. But there are always lemons. Whenever I walk along the beach after a storm, I can almost guarantee that I will find at least one lemon. Why? I don’t tend to find apples, though apples float too. Nor, typically any other fruits. Maybe apples are softer and easily broken up?

Regardless, there are always lemons. Why are there always lemons?

Debris with lemon


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