Two years ago, a central California teen began what NPR calls a “Sisyphean task”—hauling hundreds of pounds of golf balls off the ocean floor, only to have them reenter the sea as golfers from five nearby golf courses (including Pebble Beach) hit them right back in.
Alex Weber was just 16 when she first discovered the shocking sight while free diving. “You couldn’t see the sand,” she says, noting the seafloor was “completely white” from the sheer number of balls.
And thus began Weber’s self-appointed chore of removing the balls from the water—what Golf.com calls akin to an “Easter egg hunt”—with the help of her dad, a friend, and even a scientist that got wind of her efforts. Their total haul hit the 50,000-ball mark in September, gathered in grueling, cold conditions with sharks nearby and an “aerial barrage” of new balls flying their way during the collection process.