Boat skipper finds basketball with 'beard' of barnacles

By Ben Hooper

Nov. 6 (UPI) -- A British commercial skipper shared photos of something curious she found in the water -- a basketball covered in barnacles.

Annie Gilbert, skipper of the Happy Hooker II, said she and her husband were about 10 miles south of The Needles, Isle of Wight, when they spotted something unusual in the water.


The Spalding basketball's underside was completely covered in goose barnacles.

"Found this floating about 10 miles out, this ball has obviously traveled a long way check out the Goose Barnacles quite pretty," Gilbert tweeted with photos of the ball.

Gilbert said the ball also had crabs crawling around on it when they fished it out of the water.

"It looked so pretty, like it had a beard," Gilbert told BBC radio.

The skipper theorized the ball might have floated all the way from the United States, although Spalding balls are also available in Europe.

"It was released back into the sea to continue on its journey," Gilbert tweeted.

Many commenters said the ball reminded them of Wilson, Tom Hanks' volleyball companion in the film Castaway.


"I've had loads of people say, 'Wilson!'" Gilbert said. "It's great."

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