A 13-year old boy has found a "holy grail" octopus Lego piece on a beach in Cornwall after two years of searching. 

Liutauras Cemolonskas has spent the past two years searching for Lego pieces that spilled into the sea back in 1997 after the cargo ship carrying them encountered a storm. 

The accident saw 62 cargo shipping containers fall into the water 20 miles off Land’s End, Cornwall.

One of containers was carrying around 15 million Lego pieces including 352,000 pairs of flippers, 97,500 scuba tanks and 92,400 swords. 

Dorset Echo: Around 4,200 Lego octopuses spilled into the ocean from the shipping container back in 1997.Around 4,200 Lego octopuses spilled into the ocean from the shipping container back in 1997. (Image: Vytautas Cemolonskas/PA)

But its the 4,200 Lego octopuses that are the most prized finds.

Boy finds "holy grail" Lego octopus piece from 1997 sea spill

Liutauras has collected 789 Lego pieces from the 1997 spill having combed local beaches for the past two years with the help of his parents. 

Vytautas Cemolonskas, Liutauras father, told PA news agency: “We’ve been looking for that octopus for two years, it’s not easy to find.

“We were not expecting to find it at all because it’s very rare.”

But their patience has paid off with Liutauras finally discovering a Lego octopus on a beach in Marazion, Cornwall.

Dorset Echo: Liutauras Cemolonskas has been searching for Lego from the 1997 spill for the past two years.Liutauras Cemolonskas has been searching for Lego from the 1997 spill for the past two years. (Image: Vytautas Cemolonskas/PA)

Liutauras’s has already set his sites on his next goal - finding one of the 33,941 dragons that fell into the sea during the accident.

What makes the Lego octopus so rare?

Beachcomber Tracey Williams is behind the Lego Lost At Sea project which has spent years finding the plastic pieces since they spilled into the ocean.

She told PA it was “quite exciting” that a second Lego octopus was found two days after Liutauras’s discovery, this time in Porthleven.

Ms Williams said: "I think there’s something quite magical about the octopuses.

“They’re often seen as the holy grail of finds from that shipping container.”

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Ms Williams collected the Lego pieces near her parents’ home shortly after the accident and “forgot about the story” until she moved to Cornwall in 2010 and began finding them again.

But she quickly learnt just how rare the Lego octopus pieces were.

“I found one octopus back in 1997 and I didn’t find another for 18 years,” she said.

“I think people do love to find a bit of Lego when they’re doing a beach clean and many see it as as a reward for all the work they’ve put into cleaning the beaches.”

Ms Williams has been working on research related to the cargo spill and wrote a book on the incident titled Adrift: The Curious Tale Of The Lego Lost At Sea.

She also runs popular social media accounts dedicated to highlighting the toy scavengers’ finds.


“I’m recording where it all washes up so we’re working on a map that will form part of a scientific paper to show how far plastic from a cargo spill drifts and what happens to it over time,” she said.

“What we’d like to find out is whether those containers still exist or whether they’ve long since rusted away.

“I mean, it’s intriguing to know what’s happened to all the rest of the Lego that we’ve never seen."