The morning of June 5, 2012, invasive species researcher John Chapman's wife, who works for the health department in Newport, Oregon, told him he had to go with her to see a mysterious object that had washed onto the town's beach. Chapman was initially skeptical that the beached mass would be of any interest to him, scientifically speaking. The Oregon police and parks service were already at the scene, checking the large concrete slab for radiation. A plaque said the object was a fisheries dock from Misawa, Aomori Prefecture, Japan, but Chapman only had to glance at the creatures stuck to the plastic to know the source. "I was completely shocked to see all these Asian species on this dock," he says.