Villagers on Russia’s Far Eastern coast discovered strange objects resembling giant snakes that washed up on the shores of the Bering Sea this week.
“Some thought that they were animal organisms, perhaps large worms” the national park of Beringia reported. “Others suggested that they were of anthropogenic origin. Still others were sure that they were a type of mutant.”
The answer turned out to be less mysterious. The park reported that the creatures were Nereocystis luetkeana — or kelp, which generally makes it to the Bering Sea via North America.
State television channel Rossiya 24 investigated the mystery, noting that the “giant sea snakes swum over from the United States.” The news outlet concluded that the algae actually contained vitamins that were good for the skin.
“They are totally harmless and even healthy,” a reporter said.