Marist crew coach Matt Lavin was on the Hudson River with his team a few minutes after sunrise Tuesday when he saw an indistinct shape bobbing on the surface of the water.
As the rowers got closer, they realized they were looking at a Styrofoam rendering of a head, cased in Fiberglas and made to look like a stone statue in the style of ancient Greece or Rome.
While it was clear the head wasn’t of ancient provenance, its origins are a mystery. Lavin said he thinks it was floating downriver, and there’s no indication the head was spotted south of Poughkeepsie.
But the Hudson River is a tidal estuary, famously named by Native Americans as “the river that flows both ways” with tidal forces pushing saltwater north from the Atlantic and a current from the river’s source flowing downriver to the south. That means it’s possible the head could have come from either direction.
Their main theory so far is that the head is part of some decoration from a theater group. Reddit users are also speculating on the head’s origin but (unlike the head) nothing has surfaced yet.