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Mysterious orange blocks on Texas beaches are sea turtle 'effigies'

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May 6 (UPI) -- Residents on the Texas coast are being asked to keep a lookout for mysterious orange-painted blocks after wildlife researchers revealed their purpose -- researching turtles.

Beach-goers in Galveston and Freeport recently reported coming across the unusual objects -- small rectangular blocks attached to larger rectangular blocks -- in the sand along the shoreline.

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The objects had water-logged notes attached asking the finders to call a phone number.

The Gulf Center for Sea Turtle Research revealed on social media that the blocks are "wooden effigies" meant to emulate sea turtles "in an effort to understand how weather patterns and ocean currents influence annual sea turtle strandings."

"A total of 80 effigy drifters were released off Chandeleur Island, La., and over half are headed towards the Texas coast. Four have already been found this week in our area," the center said.

The post asked anyone who finds an orange-painted block to contact the Gulf Center so research data can be collected.

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