NEW DELHI, MARCH 31: The mystery of the telephone parts modelled on Garfield, the world famous cartoon character, washing up on a particular stretch of the Brittany coast in northern France has been solved.
For around 30 years the stretch has been under an ‘invasion’ by plastic pieces of the telephone, but no one was able to figure out exactly from where were those telephone-versions of the lazy orange cat coming from.
Finally, after years of clearing the beach of the pieces, Claire Simonin-Le Meur, the president of Ar Viltansoù – an environmental group, discovered the source of the Garfield telephones.
A 57-year-old farmer named René Morvan read in a local report of the group’s search for the source of the phones. Their purpose was to clean up the ocean, if the plastic was coming from there.
Morvan met Claire and told her that contrary to their belief that the telephones were coming from a shipping container that may have fallen at the bottom of the ocean, Garfield was making his way on the sands of the beach from a nearby cave located along the seaside cliffs.
Accompanied by a camera crew and other environmental activists, Claire explored the cave with Morvan and found that the farmer was right.
The metal container was wedged inside the cave but it was empty. Morgan had found the container in the 1980s, when he was about 18, after a storm that brought the first wave of the Garfield telephones on the beach.
Reports say that the environmental activists now face a daunting problem. Though they now know the source of the plastic, they can’t do anything as all of it is floating in the ocean and will therefore keep coming back to the beach.
In 2018 alone, volunteers counted more than 200 fragments of the phone which look remarkably intact. The Garfield-shaped phones that washed up on the beach still have the cartoon lines and stripes besides internal wiring intact.
Manufactured by American toy company Tyco, Garfield’s eyes opened when the receivers were lifted and shut when the phone was hung up.
Created by Jim Davis and first published in 1978, Garfield follows the life of an extremely lazy cat and his relationship with his human, Jon Arbuckle, and a dog, Odie. Garfield holds the Guinness World Record for being the world’s most widely syndicated comic strip. (Courtesy: TS)