In a disturbing report out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it appears that people aren’t using metal detectors at beaches like they used to, and they certainly aren’t doing it with sunscreen on their nose while wearing a little hat either.
“We’ve noticed a steep decline in people using metal detectors on the beach in the past 20 years,” Head Researcher Dr. Khadija Joseph told us. “What’s even more unsettling is that there’s still lots of metal under the sand; it’s just that no one’s there to find it.”
Scientists are still left scratching their heads on why this population of metal detector enthusiasts has practically gone extinct in the last few years.
“It could be that the price of metal detectors have gone up,” Dr. Joseph informed us. “But it’s more likely that these people found really precious and expensive things under the sand years ago, so now they’re so wealthy that they don’t have to look for more metal anymore.”
This is a very interesting point, but what about the lack of newcomers to the metal-detector-on-the-beach scene? Well, the researchers at MIT still aren’t completely sure.
“It could be that people have way more interesting things to play with at the beach now,” Dr. Joseph said. “I mean, think about it; we have iPhones, iPads, and Kindles now. Why would people want to use metal detectors when they can do practically anything else with the technology we have today?”
While this observation makes sense, it’s still extremely upsetting to beach-goers all over the country.
“Whenever I go to the beach now,” 28-year-old Freida Williams told us, “I’m always hoping that I see just one person using a metal detector, but I always go home disappointed.”
However, when we asked if she’d ever consider getting her own metal detector to use on the beach, she wasn’t really feeling that idea.
“Nah, I’m just not that kinda gal,” Freida said. “I’d love it if someone else was though! Don’t get me wrong.”
Hopefully we see the amount of metal detector users increase this summer, but until then, it looks like we’ll just be stuck with a bunch of metal under the beach.