May 02, 2022 I Paul Seaburn

Creepy Dolls are Mysteriously Washing Ashore on Some Texas Beaches

Creepy haunted dolls are the stuff of nightmares and horror movies and no one –except perhaps their collectors – want them around. It’s easy to avoid them by not going to museums featuring haunted objects or avoiding apartments where collectors live, but it’s much harder when the dolls are mysteriously washing up on popular beaches. That’s the case on the Gulf Coast of Texas where marine researchers combing the beaches to help save endangered sea turtles and migrating birds are feeling a little endangered themselves – every day they’re finding more and more mysterious creepy dolls, doll heads and other doll parts. Is there a demonic force behind them … or just some creepy humans?

“Every day is something new. Just when you think you’ve found everything that could possibly wash up on shore, something else comes up.”

Check your tickets -- this doesn't look like Miami.

Jace Tunnell is the director of the Mission Aransas Reserve at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute – the Mission Aransas Reserve is 40 mile of beaches stretching from north Padre Island up to Matagorda Island. While most people know Padre Island because of its popularity with Spring Breakers and Matagorda Island for its wildlife refuge, Tunnell watches the beach in between them – leading marine researchers in regular expeditions to collect debris that can harm the endangered species on the beaches and in the coastal waters, and also tell them about the declining health of the Gulf of Mexico.

“The first one we had found was a sex doll, the head of it. I posted a picture of it and I didn’t realize that’s what it was. We got a lot of followers on the page after that.”

Not only did the photo of a sex doll’s head attract followers, the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve got offers to buy it – and yes, they sold it for $35 dollars and donated the proceeds to a sea turtle rescue program. In case you’re wondering, Tunnell told The Fort Worth Star-Telegram he has no idea why someone would want a creepy, dirty doll head either. However, his weekly doll debris updates have become a popular feature on the Mission-Aransas Reserve Facebook page.

"There's a lot of nightmares out there."

If you’ve already perused the page for photos of the washed-up dolls (see more here) , you probably agree with Tunnell that “The creepiest are the ones that have lost all their hair." If you’re wondering what fresh hell these dolls and doll parts are spewing from, Tunnell actually has an answer that really is nightmarish – at least to him and his fellow researchers. The Texas Coastal Bend – the geographic curve which includes Corpus Christi, the Nueces Estuary (Corpus Christi Bay) and the Mission–Aransas Estuary (Aransas Bay), the Texas barrier islands of North Padre Island, Mustang Island, and San José Island – is a habitat which attracts many types of vegetation and wildlife including rare whooping cranes, American alligators, nine-banded armadillos, West Indian manatees, and more.

Whooping crane

However – and perhaps directly related to the area’s wildlife variety - a two-year study conducted by the UT Marine Science Institute found the same Texas Coastal Bend beaches receive 10 times the amount of washed-up trash as Gulf of Mexico beaches in Florida and Mississippi. Tunnell told the UPI the cause is a "loop current" stretching from the Yucatan Peninsula to Florida that creates current eddies that direct trash and debris toward the Texas coast.

But … why creepy dolls and doll parts? It could be because the dolls are made of hard, indestructible plastic and are hollow – especially those big, round heads – and that makes them easy to float in the Gulf currents to the Texas Coastal Bend. Or … are they’re haunted and this is some kind of weird punishment for the Lone Star State’s arrogance towards the other 49? (Apologies to Texans reading this … but do YOU have a better explanation?

Paul Seaburn
Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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