15 Ordinary Items That Are Evidence of Extraordinary Events

15. Tjipetir Mystery Blocks

On display in the Wrakkenmuseum, in Terschelling, Netherlands is a curious-looking rubbery block, dark in color, rectangular with rounded corners, about the size of kitchen chopping board. Engraved on the front of the block is the word, “Tjipetir.” For many years, these rubber-like blocks have been washing up on shores along the United Kingdom and Europe. Sometimes they are found with bales of rubber washed up nearby. The word, “Tjipetir,” is the name of a rubber plantation in West Java, Indonesia, from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The blocks are not entirely rubber, but gutta-percha, the gum of a tree indigenous to Malaysia and the Malay Peninsula.
15. Tjipetir Mystery Blocks