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Moby-Duck cover.jpg
Cover of US edition
AuthorDonovan Hohn
CountryUnited States
SubjectOcean currents; Marine debris; Plastic toys; Friendly Floatees
Publication date
March 2011
LC ClassGC231.2.H65 2010

Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them is a book by Donovan Hohn concerning 28,800 plastic ducks and other toys, known as the Friendly Floatees, which were washed overboard from a container ship in the Pacific Ocean on 10 January 1992 and have subsequently been found on beaches around the world and used by oceanographers including Curtis Ebbesmeyer to trace ocean currents.[1][2]

The book was published in the United States in March 2011 by Viking (ISBN 978-0670022199) and in the UK in February 2012 by Union Books (ISBN 978-1908526007) with a shorter subtitle: Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea. It was noted by The New York Times as one of the 100 Notable Books of 2011,[3] shortlisted for the 2012 Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism,[4] runner-up of the 2012 PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award[5] and runner-up of the 2013 PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award.[6]

The title is a reference to Herman Melville's classic seafaring novel Moby-Dick.

Cover of 2012 UK edition


  1. ^ Wilkinson, Carl (17 February 2012). "Ugly Ducklings". Financial Times. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  2. ^ Maslin, Janet (20 February 2011). "Books of the Times: The Siren Song of the Bath Toy". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  3. ^ "100 Notable Books of 2011". The New York Times: Sunday Book Review. 21 November 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  4. ^ "Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism". New York Public Library. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
  5. ^ Laurie Hertzel (August 28, 2012). "PEN literary awards announced". StarTribune. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
  6. ^ "2013 PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award". August 14, 2013. Retrieved August 15, 2013.

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