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Massive Pipes Have Washed Up on English Beaches

Until they’re towed away, they’re a hazard to life and limb.

In mid-July, in the vast waters of the Norwegian Sea, two ships collided, loosing 12 massive sections of pipe into the water. No one was hurt, but the pipes scattered. Some were salvaged, while others drifted away. Last week, they began washing up on the beaches of Norfolk, England.

The pipes were apparently headed for power and desalination projects in Algeria, and are extremely large—nearly eight feet in diameter, with the longest around 1,570 feet in length. A video from The Guardian gives you a sense of the scale here:

The plastic pipes were created by a Norwegian firm called Pipelife, which has told beachgoers not to approach the pipes or climb on top of them, lest they be crushed. This hasn’t deterred the curious, as recent “aerial footage showed two men walking on top of one of the pipes, as others took selfies,” The Guardian reported. A salvage operation is currently under way to tow the pipes back to Norway.

“It is essential now that the salvage team fence off the pipes,” Trygve Blomster, a manager at Pipelife, told The Guardian. “If a 2.5-meter diameter pipe, several hundred-meter long pipe is moving in the water it is extremely dangerous. If you fall beside that while it moved you will be smashed.”

It’s quite the sight, but keep your distance.