What’s up with the oranges on the shores of Gas Works Park?

A Reddit mystery deepens.

A smattering of oranges cut in half on the frozen shores of Gas Works Park in Seattle

It looks like the oranges were cut it half at Gas Works, not peeled or eaten.

Photo via Levi (u/Kronic50)

Hey, weird Seattle sleuths — have we got a juicy mystery for you. Recently, a Reddit user posted photos from Gas Works Parks that showed a whole bunch of oranges scattered around the frozen shore.

Not one or two scraps. Not a stray rind. We’re talking dozens of oranges that looked like they were sliced in half and abandoned like castaways.

So, uh, what the heck? Are the local salmon on an all-citrus diet? Is this an extension of the viral “orange peel” test? Like in the “Godfather,” does it mean someone’s about to get whacked?

Let’s dig our nails into the enigma and see what bears fruit.

Fact vs. pulp fiction

When asked for an official explanation, a spokesperson for Seattle Parks & Recreation suggested that the oranges were likely just discarded trash. Way to spoil our fun.

But Levi from Wallingford, who originally took the pics, saw the oranges on Tuesday, Jan. 14 when temps were in the 20s — way too cold for any picnic. “They appeared to me that they washed up on shore,” he said.

And here’s where it gets super strange. A couple of Reddit commenters mentioned that they also saw oranges on the shores in Vashon and Eastlake recently, with one wondering if a cargo container fell off a ship. Hmmmm…

Floating it out there

There’s another Redditor theory to ponder — the NOAA and the Coast Guard have used oranges in the past to simulate oil spills. Apparently, the bobbing fruit helps measure currents for cleanup strategy. Since the Puget Sound occasionally sees oil tankers), this explanation might hold water (though an NOAA spokesperson said the organization hasn’t done a test like that in years).

Of course, we preferred some of the funnier comments in the Reddit thread, including that this may mean “6 more weeks of winter,” that “banana boats will be deployed to intercept” — or simply that they’re “naval oranges.” We “Vitamin Sea” you.

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