In spring 2012, debris from the Japanese tsunami began to wash ashore along Alaska's outer beaches to a dramatic extent — delivering floats, barrels, gunk plus one errant soccer ball recovered on Middleton Island, according to Facebook posts, news reports and eyewitness accounts from around the region.

The tragic flotsam from one of the worst disasters of the new century has been arriving months earlier than originally predicted by models based on the behavior of ocean currents — with the wind scooting the stuff thousands of miles across the surface of the sea at surprising speed.

People have been posting news and photos of possible tsunami debris at the SeaAlliance / Restoring our Shores Facebook page about marine debris sponsored by Junuea's Marine Conservation Alliance. Photos from Yakutat (and here) showed weird black gunk, a new large float on the shore and other disconcerting material.