MERCER ISLAND, Wash. — A Mercer Island girl is now part of an international mystery washing up on beaches.
She found a 10-pound solid rubber tablet that many believe was cargo on the Titanic.
Ten-year-old Josephine Scott found the rubber block on the beach of Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas on their New Year's vacation.
“I was looking for shells on the beach and I found this floating on the water,” said Josephine, who then took it up to her parents.
“When she first brought it up I was thinking, ‘throw that thing away,’” said her dad, Kenny Scott. “It's not a shell.”
But they noticed an inscription, Tjipetir, so they looked it up.
Immediately they found posts and a Facebook page dedicated to the Tjipetir Mystery.
In 2012, a British woman found two of the rubber blocks two years ago -- and has cataloged dozens of others who’ve found them.
According to the Facebook page, most have been found in Portugal and England.
The rubber blocks were made from trees in Indonesia.
They were shipped to manufacturing plants to make things like false teeth.
“We started researching all about it and it was from like a ship wreck,” said Kenny Scott.
Most notably, the woman who started the Facebook found they were listed on the Titanic's manifest.
And she found the rubber blocks were on the Miyazaki Maru, a Japanese ship sunk by a German torpedo in 1917.
The woman heading the effort to solve the mystery told the Scotts she's closer to finding exactly where they came from.
“Could be the Titanic,” said Kenny Scott. “That'd be pretty awesome.”
Josephine Scott brought her treasure to school this week and plans to hang it on her wall while they wait to find the true source of the international mystery.