Floating 7-Foot Head Leaves Rowers Scratching Theirs

Apr 25, 2013 11:05am

The crew team at New York’s Marist College came across a puzzling sight this week when a large, foam head, floating in the Hudson River, crossed their path toward the end of their morning row.

While on the river Monday morning, crew coach Matt Lavin was the first to spot the mysterious 7-foot-high, fiberglass-c0vered head, which is 4 to 5 feet wide. The ominous sighting gave the coach pause, and he had his team stay back as he approached to investigate.

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                                                                  (Image Credit: Matt Lavin/Marist College Crew)

“[Lavin] was in a small motor boat beside the team,” Greg Cannon, director of public affairs for the Poughkeepsie school, told ABCNews.com. “He didn’t know what it was at first, but saw it was an obstruction that would have been in the way of the shipping channel. So he went out to investigate.”

Once he realized he wasn’t in a scene from “The Planet of the Apes” and that it wouldn’t be terribly heavy, he wrapped a line around the head and towed it himself. The crew team then helped him pull in from the water.

“They pulled it in and it’s some kind of Styrofoam core with a fiberglass shell over it,” Cannon said. “Enough of the foam was exposed that it got water logged. It had gotten pretty heavy. Members of the team helped drag it up onto the dock.”

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                                                                             (Image Credit: Tyler Sawyer/Marist Crew)

As for where the head came from, that’s still a mystery, but Cannon said he’s open to any theories.

The most compelling theory he has heard? The head is from a Mardi Gras float, was washed away by Hurricane Katrina and, eight years later, somehow ended up in the Hudson River.

Cannon laughed that off, but said that it could be close.

“It could have been washed away in a storm,” he said, “maybe even Sandy.”

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