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Rubber slabs washed up in Brazil traced to second world war shipwreck

New Scientist Default Image

Bales of rubber like this one washed up on Brazilian shores during 2018

Carlos Teixeira at Federal University of Ceará

Unidentified packages that appeared along the Brazilian coast in 2018 have been confirmed as bales of natural rubber coming from a German shipwreck from the second world war.

Throughout 2018, around 200 square packages washed up along 1600 kilometres of the Brazilian coastline from the states of Maranhão to Sergipe. Each weighed up to 200 kilograms and they ranged in size from 0.06 to 3.4 cubic metres. They caused considerable public concern as people were unsure what they were made …