Flip-flop becomes home to family of barnacles


A FLIP-flop that travelled thousands of miles across the Atlantic and is home to a family of barnacles has washed up on Scotland’s shores.

The footwear was found floating around Arinagour harbour on the Isle of Coll in the Inner Hebrides on Monday afternoon.

Luke Saddler, the head guide at Basking Shark Scotland, spotted the unusual object and fished it out of the water.

The flip-flop was spotted floating around the harbour
The flip-flop was spotted floating around the harbour


Pictures of the flip-flop show the yellow Havaiana-brand shoe covered with over 50 goose barnacles.

It is not certain how long it had been in the sea but rubber can remain intact for decades in salt water.

The sea creatures usually attach themselves to hard surfaces of rocks or floating objects in the sea, but it appears they took a liking to the man-made object.

Shane Wasik, owner of Basking Shark Scotland, said: “The currents around here mean that the flip-flop could have come from anywhere.

Luke Saddler holding the barnacle-encrusted flip-flop
Luke Saddler holding the barnacle-encrusted flip-flop


“It looked quite degraded so it had probably been in the sea for a long time – it was completely covered with the barnacles.

“They usually attach to a bit of wood or a coconut, but not this time. This would be a more common sight in the tropics, thousands of miles away.”

Goose barnacles are notorious for attaching themselves to boats and even large sea creatures such as whales.

They feed by filtering the water around them, and so attaching to objects allows them greater exposure to food.

They have also been known to attach to plastic bottles, crates and buoys.