These funny-lookin' boxes are washing up on beaches along the Texas coast, but are they cause for alarm and mass panic? Unfortunately, not this time.

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You see, these are actually wooden effigies intended to replicate deceased sea turtles and their lifeless path through the watery expanse.

I LOVE the idea of sea turtle effigies so that one day, thousands of years from now, humans will uncover these and think we worshipped some great primordial sea turtle. But, I digress...

So, they're supposed to replicate dead sea turtles, huh?

Gulf Center for Sea Turtle Research
Gulf Center for Sea Turtle Research
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Yeah, I think I can kinda see it. If I squint really hard and turn away, I can see they look a little like turtles.

Who made these boxes?

So, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in efforts to track annual sea turtle strandings, has sent to sea about 80 of these bad boys from Chandeleur Island in Louisiana. The Gulf Center for Sea Turtle Research has been collecting them.

Sea turtles along the Texas coast are highly endangered species, so any efforts to help them just keep swimming is encouraged.

Don't even think about stealing these effigies either. Each is equipped with a GPS tracker and instructions on what to do if found. Beach-goers who stumble upon these faux-turtles are invited to call the turtle hotline (how I wish this is for calling lonely sea turtles in your area, but oh well), and meet for a drop-off exchange.

Endangered Sea Turtles Released Back into Atlantic Ocean

The Mystic Aquarium Animal Rescue Team saw another set of rehabilitated animals returned to their ocean home recently with the release of five endangered sea turtles down in North Carolina.
One loggerhead sea turtle and four Kemp’s ridley sea turtles were the aquarium's part of a 26-sea-turtle release from four different animal rescues across the Northeast. See these endangered animals as they returned to their ocean home after months of treatment for their cold-stunning damage suffered in Cape Cod Bay.

Gallery Credit: Nancy Hall

7 of the Most Endangered Species in Texas

Gallery Credit: Emily Claire

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