Guess what! As it turns out, life sometimes offers more than a grinding trudge towards death. Residents of the German island Langeoog learned this very lesson last week, when tens of thousands of Kinder Surprise Eggs washed onto its shore.
According to Smithsonian.com, the eggs were being transported on a Danish freight when a storm referred to as Axel pummeled Germany’s northern coast. Axel caused some flooding, a less desirable result, but—happily—it also released the chocolate eggs from their container and propelled them through the North Sea and onto the island, which is located on the Germany-Netherlands border.
After the egg invasion was discovered, Langeoog’s mayor invited local kindergartners to engage in a wide-scale egg hunt. As for those who claimed this constituted theft, well — the mayor suggested that they take responsibility for beach cleanup.
For those who are unfamiliar, Kinder Surprise Eggs originated in 1974, an Italian confection that became wildly popular in Germany (the German dictionary even includes the word “das Überraschungsei” — “the surprise egg”). Wrapped in tinfoil, the chocolate eggs conceal plastic “yolks” which in turn hold small toys. They’re banned in the United States—U.S. Customs refers to Kinder Surprise Eggs as a “choking hazard”—but they tend to emerge stateside anyway.
William Salice, inventor of the Kinder Surprise Egg, died just last week at age 83. Perhaps his ghost offered this influx of sweetness as a whimsical farewell.