A mysterious, cylindrical object made of plastic and foam has washed up on a South Carolina beach, and no one knows what it is, Yahoo News is reporting.
Last Thursday, visitors and residents of Seabrook Island first noticed the strange object. It’s cylindrical, about six feet in diameter, about five and a half feet tall, and weighs about 200 pounds. It’s tapered towards the top, meaning that it resembles a certain prop for a certain 70’s-era sci-fi movie, says one commenter.
“It’s a Death Star!”
Day 8: Star
in a galaxy far far away…
— Malsa Maaz (@malsamaaz) October 8, 2018
It’s certainly not a Death Star, for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that this thing doesn’t have any metallic content. It’s all plastic and foam. And also, the Death Star doesn’t exist.
Lauren Rust, the executive director of the Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network, was one of the first people to witness the object. She says that, by her estimation, it can’t have been in the water too long.
“It also doesn’t look like it’s been in the water that long. You’d think if it were in the water [for a long period of time], it would be covered in barnacles and all sorts of [sea life].”
That blasts this writer’s first theory out of the water (no pun intended): that it was a part of Gemini or Apollo-era spacecraft. Those things have been in the water for decades now. They also landed in the Pacific, not the Atlantic, so for one of those to make it to South Carolina would be quite a feat indeed.
Best things about presenting at the science museum after hours is the chance to get a sneeky look around…Apollo 10 capsule! pic.twitter.com/IR657deICI
— hugh mortimer (@HughMortimer) October 5, 2018
Rust, for her part, tells The Post and Courier that she thinks it’s parts of some sort of buoy or flotation device. But you would think that town officials in a seaside community would be familiar with buoys and flotation devices, but no, officials are just as baffled as Rust.
Rust made some phone calls, and within a couple of hours the “thing” was loaded up onto a truck and taken into town for further testing. And if at this point you’re thinking “Why on Earth did they touch it!?,” Rust says there’s no indication that there were any toxic or radioactive components to the device.
“We didn’t see anything around [the object] that would indicate there was anything unsafe about it.”
Officials also called the Coast Guard, to see if the object was something that might have come from one of their vessels. No dice.
So for now, the object is sitting on a lot somewhere around Seabrook, and unless and until someone claims it, it looks like the mystery device will remain just that, a mystery.