‘Foamy’ Object Washes Ashore On South Carolina Beach

maximus otter

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A mystery came out of the ocean on South Carolina’s Seabrook Island, and authorities haven’t yet identified what some are calling “space junk.”

The Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network was the first to notice, posting a photo on Facebook of a “mysterious object that washed ashore” on Thursday. The island is about 24 miles south of Charleston.



The object is big, taller than a woman standing nearby, and it’s cylindrical.

It also looks like it’s made of concrete, but Marine Mammal network officials say that’s deceiving. Touch it and it feels like “a soft foam,” said the network, adding that it was quickly whisked away by town officials.

https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article219544575.html

maximus otter
 

Ermintruder

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#2
I want to say "O-Rings".

To provide some degree of inhibition for the escape of LOX from a side-booster conventional rocket array.

A friction /compression foam seal, installed during sub-assembly build, which has (post-reentry, and partial destruction) become tumescent with sea-water, seperated from its metal encasement, then risen from the depths.
 

Ermintruder

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#3
Intriging theory from a long-term radical/alternative YouTube channel user "MrMB333"

TL: DW .... the remains of a flame-retardant *foam-built* Chinese satellite
 

EnolaGaia

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I want to say "O-Rings".
To provide some degree of inhibition for the escape of LOX from a side-booster conventional rocket array. ...
I think it's a big O-ring or seal, but I'm not convinced it's from a rocket (yet).

I've seen large low-pressure seals / gaskets / rings like this used to join sections of (e.g.) large diameter pipes (e.g., concrete sewer and outflow lines).

It's not from one of the Space Shuttle's solid rocket booster units. It doesn't match any of the SRB components.

The outer layers are definitely some sort of foam material, but I haven't found any mention of the innermost ring's material. Is it foam, too? Or ... ?
 

Mythopoeika

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#5
I think it's a big O-ring or seal, but I'm not convinced it's from a rocket (yet).

I've seen large low-pressure seals / gaskets / rings like this used to join sections of (e.g.) large diameter pipes (e.g., concrete sewer and outflow lines).

It's not from one of the Space Shuttle's solid rocket booster units. It doesn't match any of the SRB components.

The outer layers are definitely some sort of foam material, but I haven't found any mention of the innermost ring's material. Is it foam, too? Or ... ?
Possibly from an oil rig?
 

Swifty

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#6
I wonder if the photographer took more pictures of the object? .. I'd have taken loads ..
 

Ermintruder

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As per the proposal by MrMB333....he thinks that the angled cylindrical shape is indicative of the nacelle from the crashed Tiangong-I space station...
Screenshot_2018-10-09-10-51-26.png

My major problem about this suggestion is that internal depictions of eg the ISS or Skylab show virtually zero foam thickness as insulation, whereas this would represent a massive percentage of the overall volume of the spacecraft's interior.

The suggestion by @Mythopoeika that it could be detritus from the oil industry is a good idea. And therefore a pipeline O-ring, not a rocket one.
 

EnolaGaia

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Possibly from an oil rig?
That occurred to me, too. I checked for offshore drilling platform components that might match this object (e.g., foam bumpers on the main 'legs'), but found nothing that recommended itself.

Also, there's aren't any offshore drilling rigs in that area. There were exploratory wells drilled 30 - 40 years ago in that area (off the Georgia and South Carolina coasts), but they were all dry holes and nobody's drilled for oil there since then.
 

EnolaGaia

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I wonder if the photographer took more pictures of the object? .. I'd have taken loads ..
There are a very few other photos 'out there', taken by other people. Unfortunately, they're all pretty much of the same type (standoff distance; not much detail).
 

Mythopoeika

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#10
That occurred to me, too. I checked for offshore drilling platform components that might match this object (e.g., foam bumpers on the main 'legs'), but found nothing that recommended itself.

Also, there's aren't any offshore drilling rigs in that area. There were exploratory wells drilled 30 - 40 years ago in that area (off the Georgia and South Carolina coasts), but they were all dry holes and nobody's drilled for oil there since then.
What it could be is an old well cap.
 

Tribble

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