A real estate sign ripped out of a New Jersey yard by Hurricane Sandy in Nov. 2012 was rediscovered almost six years later—and an ocean away.
Dianne Turton says one of her Diane Turton Realty signs was found a few weeks ago by somebody in France, more than 3,500 miles away from New Jersey, Westchester News 12 reports.
“I got an email from our relocation department, who got it from this person, Hans, in Bordeaux,” Turton says. “I thought, ‘Is this a joke?'”
The company’s marketing director says they were able to determine that the sign was washed away from outside a home in the town of Brielle.
The finder, 64-year-old Hannes Frank, says it was “curious” to find the sign on a Bordeaux beach. He says he looked up the name on the sign and emailed the realtor to let them know it had arrived, though it was “not in best shape after the crossing.”
He offered to send it back to the realtor, who plans to frame it as a memento.
Oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer tells the New York Times that the sign’s journey was likely even longer than it might appear. He believes it crossed the Atlantic three times before it was found.
“There is a great gyre of water that runs from New Jersey to northern Europe down to Spain and back to New Jersey and takes 3.3 years on average, and it takes about a year and a half to drift across the North Atlantic one way from New Jersey to France,” he says.
“So five and a half years is just about right.”