Sorry, guys: The unofficial end of summer gets us no closer to the solution of the summer’s great mystery. Yes, that’s right, there was a big mystery hiding in the sand this summer—and it would’ve been a kickass discovery using any average metal detector.

Here’s the deal: Beachgoers in Westerly, Rhode Island have been confused as heck about a large metal object that was jutting out of the ground on the city’s beach. The object, when it first showed up, was a metallic, circular object with points—an oddity that evokes a George Lucas and Roland Emmerich joint production on a film set.

“It looks like a metal starfish because it has these eight legs that go down from the center,” noted Peter Brockman, the head of the local East Beach Association, in comments to WPRI last month.

Mystery object

The object, pre-excavation. (via WPRI)

It was a huge WTF to pass by if you were wandering around the city’s beach earlier this summer (as well as an annoyance, because a small chunk of the beach was closed off due to the mysterious hazard), but a couple of educated guesses assumed the device was potentially associated with the Army Corp of Engineers. (My personal guess: This mystery object is related to the release of Taylor Swift's new album somehow—she has a mansion near the location of the odd device.)

Brockman, poor guy, has spent weeks trying to figure out what this thing is, talking with anyone who might be able to help—whether fishermen, retired naval officers, or scientists. He also worked with a crew to dig the thing out of the water.

Last week, the crew did just that, and as it turns out … digging it out just created more questions. As it turns out, the sand was covering up not a tiny metallic starfish, but a satellite dish-sized metallic device, complete with eight legs and a circular metal base. They assumed the device would be about 4 to 5 feet in size—but instead, it was 8 to 10 feet. Whoever shoved it in the sand wanted to create a time capsuled for the confused.

“It’s baffling, it isn’t what anyone thought it was,” Brockman told The Westerly Sun.

If you have any idea what this thing is, please sate my curiosity.

(screenshot via the The Westerly Sun)

Ernie Smith
Your time was just wasted by Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the editor of Tedium, and an active internet snarker. Between his many internet side projects, he finds time to hang out with his wife Cat, who's funnier than he is.