A bizarre object found off the shore of Westerly, Rhode Island, is making a big splash because of its murky origins.
People first noticed the object ― which looks a little like a giant metal starfish with eight legs ― several weeks ago. It was embedded in the sand about six feet underwater.
On Thursday, curiosity finally got the better of locals, who hired an excavator to dig up the object, according to The Westerly Sun.
The excavator wasn’t able to dig up the object in one piece, but was able to show that it has a circular base with metal poles leading to a single point at the top, according to WPRI-TV.
The station asked Peter Brockmann, president of the East Beach Association, which paid for the excavation, if he knew what the object was.
“Not a clue. We haven’t solved anything here today,” Brockmann replied. “Hopefully, the experts in this field will take a look at it, now that we have it out, and be able to identify it.”
One 12-year-old boy who witnessed the excavation told The Westerly Sun that it might be a UFO.
Other theories were a little less fanciful. Some people suggested it could be a buoy for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or a device to monitor currents and sediment flow.
Archaeologist Stephen Carini had his own theory.
“Well, it’s not that mysterious. It’s been here forever, you know,” Carini told WFSB-TV. “It’s been marked by a buoy for the past several years. It’s a big piece of concrete and metal that they used, probably as a buoy, for rescue rafts when there were shipwrecks here back when.”
It may be a while before the public discovers what the object really is.
After the excavation, workers loaded the pieces onto a truck and took them to an undisclosed location, presumably for further examination.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.