Feature

The giant Lego man that washed ashore in Florida

A mysterious, 8-foot-tall Lego figurine emerged from the surf on Florida's Siesta Key this week. What on earth does it mean?

The video: Jeff Hindman was walking along the beach near Sarasota, Fla., early Tuesday morning when he saw a body floating ominously in the surf. Luckily, it was the fiberglass body of an 8-foot-tall, 100-pound Lego man, with the cryptic words "NO REAL THAN YOU ARE" on its rudimentary torso, and the name "Ego Leonard" on the back. (Watch video of Hindman's discovery below.) After Orlando's newly opened Legoland theme park denied any connection to the "impostor" Lego figure, many began to suspect a Dutch character who calls himself Ego Leonard — probably guerilla artist Leon Keer — who sent similar giant Lego men ashore in the Netherlands (2007) and England (2008) and will be featured in November's Sarasota Chalk Festival. Reached for comment, Leonard emailed the Sarasota Herald-Tribune: "I am glad I crossed over. Although it was a hell of a swimm [sic]." If nobody claims Lego man in 90 days, it's Hindman's. "I'll put in on eBay," Hindman says.

The reaction: Everybody is obsessing about what Lego man means, says Chris Matyszczyk at CNET News. Viral marketing stunt? UFOs? Maybe Leonard "wants us to imagine ourselves being washed up on the shore, strangers to all around us, finally free of our Facebook timelines." Or maybe we just need to accept that "sometimes art has no purpose." Well, it would be a little naive to ignore the fact that Leonard/Keer sells his art, and that this is "generating loads of publicity for his paintings," says Lee Mathews at Geek.com. Watch Hindman drag Lego man ashore:

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