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Giant Lego Man emerges from Florida sea

On a beach in Florida a giant Lego man appears. Written on his chest are the words "No Real Than You Are." Is this a prank? An ad? Or something more sinister, like art?

What would you do if you happened to be walking along a beach and discovered a man lying there, looking the worse for wear?

What if the man was 8 feet tall and made of Legos? You might think it was you who was the worse for wear. However, a giant Lego man did appear on a beach in Sarasota, Fla., and he was helped to his feet by public-spirited passersby.

As often happens with the discovery of giant Lego men, no one seems sure where he might have come from. News crews have, naturally, found locals who speculate that he might have dropped from a spaceship.

Suspicions immediately fell upon the folks at the recently opened Legoland Florida.

However, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office released a statement from Legoland, one that was brimming with amusement.

It read: "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!"

How very Redneck Riviera. What seems clear is that the giant Lego man's rightful owner has 90 days to pick him up or he will be (who knows?) melted down or auctioned on eBay.

What also seems clear, though, is that Lego Man--upon whose chest are emblazoned the words "No Real Than You Are"-- is the work of Dutch artist Ego Leonard. Leonard's Lego alter-egos have turned up on beaches in Holland and England before. (I have embedded evidence below.)

Leonard sent an e-mail to the Herald-Tribune that read: "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."

Sometimes art has no purpose. Sometimes it just is. It forces us to consider our existence in a different context, a different paradigm.

This is surely Leonard's aim. He wants us to imagine ourselves being washed up on the shore, strangers to all around us, finally free of our Facebook timelines.

Who would we be then? Someone more colorful, perhaps. Someone much nicer, surely. Someone more real than we currently are.