I find them bobbing in the waves and half buried in the sand. This collection of images features plastic gasoline containers I have found at the Falls of the Ohio State Park. Over the years, enough gas cans have washed up here that a regular visitor such as myself can’t help but notice them.
I wonder how did these objects made it into the river in the first place? And, how far have they traveled? I have never found one that still had gas in it…and I’m thinking or hoping that these cans were empty before they were left to their fates. Perhaps a strong wind blew them into the water or they just fell off un-noticed by boaters?
I can’t say that there is a tremendous variety of forms to be found. For the most part they are fairly consistant. All the ones I have come across have been made of plastic and it surprises me that I haven’t seen any metal containers. Maybe the older ones eventually rust out and sink?
Here’s one that I found in the driftwood after a spell of high water that is finding a new use as a mosquito farm! I dump out any containers I find with standing water in them. Mosquitoes don’t need more encouragement.
I know it’s the dire warnings written in high relief letters along the sides that catches me. It’s that potential for danger that these containers suggest in not so subtle language…” Danger extremely flammable / Vapors can explode / Harmful or fatal if swallowed”. What I don’t see is a warning that over reliance on fossil fuels can lead to other kinds of danger!
This one is unusual! It’s the only gasoline “jug” that I have come across. Despite its friendly shape, it still has the same strong warnings.
This ones red color is fading. Probably exposed to sunlight over a long period of time. Which brings me to the plastic. Will the sun eventually weaken the plastic bonds making them brittle or are these plastic containers resistant to that? Will they eventually become part of the aggregate that makes up the soil and sand?
I know that some of the resins used to make plastic are extracted from petroleum. We then use plastic containers to hold gasoline which is also refined from petroleum. It seems a bit redundant like putting margarine made from corn oil on hot corn-on-the-cob.
Ok, so I tricked you with this one! It’s still a petrochemical container used to hold another petrochemical substance…kerosine! Still promises as much danger as the gas cans.
I have sited many of my Styrofoam (polystyrene) figures near gasoline containers I’ve come across. Here’s a Styro-dog from this year.
A couple of years ago I made this large figure that had a collection of plastic containers I found in the immediate area of the sculpture. The gas can is front and center!
Another figure, this time a small one made from blue insulating foam and posed next to its cousin…afterall hydrocarbons are thicker than water.