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Giant Lego Man Washes Ashore: Did Artist Ego Leonard Leave Toy Figure On Florida's Siesta Key? (VIDEO)

First Posted: 10/26/11 01:11 PM ET Updated: 12/26/11 05:12 AM ET

Somewhere out there, an enormous toy castle or spaceship is missing one of its pieces.

Beach goers were baffled Tuesday when a massive castaway Lego man washed ashore on Sarasota's Siesta Key.

"It doesn't make sense," said Jeff Hindman, who found the eight-foot-tall, 100-pound fiberglass figure during his morning walk, according to the Herald Tribune.

Hindman said he initially thought the Lego man was beached marine life, but when he dragged the statue out of the water and stood him up, Hindman discovered the ominous message "NO REAL THAN YOU ARE" across the front of the Lego shirt. The figure's back reads "EGO LEONARD" and has the number eight.

Still, nobody can explain with complete certainty where Lego man comes from.

"I kind of think it's from the UFO people, I really do," one woman told local television station WTSP-10.

Others have pointed the finger at the brand new Legoland theme park in Winter Haven. The park opened on Oct. 15, just a 10 days before Lego man appeared, making the giant publicity figure a possible ploy for some free press.

In a statement to the Sarasota Sheriff's Office, Legoland representatives quickly and humorously denied planting Lego man: "This activity is in no way sponsored or endorsed by The LEGO Group or Merlin Entertainments, who run LEGOLAND attractions. Hope you've given Mr. LEGO Imposter his one phone call and an attorney!"

Lego people actually wash up on beaches more often than you might expect, leading many news outlets to pin the stunt on Dutch artist Ego Leonard. In 2007, a Lego man appeared on the beach in Holland and a similar incident took place in England during 2008.

A translated message on Ego Leonard's website explains the giant toy's travels:

My name is Ego Leonard and according to you I come from the virtual world. A world that for me represents happiness, solidarity, all green and blossoming, with no rules or limitations.

Lately however, my world has been flooded with fortune-hunters and people drunk with power. And many new encounters in the virtual world have triggered my curiosity about your way of life.

Ego Leonard did not immediately respond to a request for comment by The Huffington Post, but did send the following message to the Herald Tribune: "I am glad I crossed over. Although it was a hell of a swim. Nice weather here and friendly people. I think I am gonna stay here for a while. A local sheriff escorted me to my new home."

The rightful owner has 90 days to claim the Lego man from Sarasota Police.

Check out footage of another Lego man washing ashore in the Netherlands:

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Filed by Steven Hoffer  |