“Invisible Beach’s” Claim to Fame: #3 Non-Buoyant Marine Debris

By John Vonderlin

While the pretty pebbles and unusual driftwood chucked up on the shore at Invisible Beach, by Neptune’s Vomitorium, hinted at an interesting story, it was the manmade non-buoyant marine debris that was regurgitated there that came to obsess me.

Over the last three years I’ve spent thousands of dollars and maybe a thousand hours gathering it, washing it, untangling it, photographing it, sorting it, then eventually arranging some of it in a myriad of ways into hundreds of pieces of generally whimsical art.

I ended up with what I believe is the most bizarre and largest collection of non-buoyant marine debris in the world. Hey! No snickering, please.

Nearly every trip to Invisible Beach not only added to my growing collection, but offered some new mystery that required pondering or researching. Through observation and my collecting, various rhythms, patterns, clusters and cycles of deposition revealed themselves, usually hazily, unfortunately.

I formed theories, made guesses, tested hypotheses, discarding some of them, as I gathered ever more information as well as debris. It was as if this odd spot was allowing me to Moses-like, part the sea that was hiding the out-of-sight-out-of-mind ugliness of our careless usage of the ocean as a trashcan.


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