HEINUS – NEW YORK Chilean police have arrested a ring of thieves accused of stealing five tons ice from glaciers and selling it to upscale bars and restaurants. The thieves were stealing the ice using Coleman coolers and hiding in tanning salons across the country. Glacial ice 10,000 years old isn’t the only theft of irreplaceable natural items. Thieves worldwide have been arrested for stealing:
Sand from the Sahara: Sand has been disappearing from the Sahara Desert in record amounts, leaving nothing but vast expanses of empty sand. Scientists have been baffled by the loss of high quality sand. Tracing of the lost sand indicates that much of the stolen sand is being used for sandboxes in Brentwood, Calif., and for terrariums in Passaic, New jersey.
Water from the Great Lakes: Being used for hot tubs in Brazil.
Corn meal from Nebraska: After being mixed with shellac, the corn meal is applied to dental appliances in the former Soviet republic of Moldova. Businesses involved in this trade are liable for prosecution, as, due to an obscure Depression Era law, expert of corn meal without a export license is a felony.
(glacier image by Luca Galuzzi, corn meal by Leena)