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.
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.