Along for the ride were hundreds of millions of individual organisms, including a tiny species of crab, a species of algae, and a little starfish all native to Japan that have scientists worried if they get a chance to spread out on the West Coast.Scientists have taken a torch to the thing, but it might have been too late. Here's a photo gallery.
"This is a very clear threat," said John Chapman, a research scientist at Oregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Ore., where the dock float washed up early Tuesday morning. "It's exactly like saying you threw a bowling ball into a China shop. It's going to break something. But will it be valuable or cheap glass. It's incredibly difficult to predict what will happen next."
There are two more of these docks out there, somewhere.