Green glass ball, Rockaway Beach, Oregon

Glass floats, glass fishing floats, or Japanese glass fishing floats are popular collectors’ items. They were once used by fishermen in many parts of the world to keep their nets afloat. These glass floats are no longer being used by fishermen, but many of them are still afloat in the world’s oceans, primarily the Pacific.

Today most of the glass floats remaining in the ocean are stuck in a circular pattern of ocean currents in the North Pacific. Occasionally storms or certain tidal conditions will break some floats from this circular pattern and bring them ashore. It is estimated that floats must be a minimum of 7–10 years old before washing up on beaches in the Pacific Northwest.

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