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Mystery ‘Metal Starfish’ Found Off Rhode Island Coast

Answers will come soon enough.

At East Beach, in Westerly, Rhode Island,* an object was recently found about 10 feet from the shore at low tide. It’s a bit of a mystery. The object resembles a starfish, but is made of concrete and metal. And at first, Peter Brockmann, the president of the East Beach Association, was afraid to touch it, worried that it might be a bomb.

“We wanted to figure out what it is before we go tugging on it,” Brockmann told The Westerly Sun last week, adding that authorities are now pretty certain that it is not explosive.

So what could it be? Brockmann contacted a number of places he thought it might have come from, including the U.S. Navy, a company building a nearby wind farm, and a local harbor master. All said that it wasn’t theirs, though some University of Rhode Island professors told Brockmann they thought it could be the mount for what’s known as an acoustic doppler profiler, an instrument used by scientists (and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, among others) to measure the speed of currents in the water.

Whatever it is, the object’s been stuck where it is for a while—Brockmann said it might have been discovered as early as sometime last year, and that he thinks a lot of it is buried beneath the surface.

Either way, we’ll know for sure soon. Brockmann told The Westerly Sun that the East Beach Association had hired a contractor to drag the object from the ocean sometime this week. Mount for a scientific device? The tip of a Bond villain’s lair? Leftover alien spaceship part? Some mysteries are meant to be solved.

*Correction: This article previously misidentified the location where the object was found. It was found at East Beach in Westerly, Rhode Island, not the East Beach in Charlestown, Rhode Island.