Why Do Creepy Dolls Keep Appearing On Texas Beaches?

Gulp. We have lots of questions.

Creep Dolls Washing Up
Photo: Mission-Aransas Reserve

Shells, sea creatures, and assorted treasures wash up on the sandy shores of the Texas Coastal Bend every day. About 30 miles northeast of Corpus Christi, researchers at the Mission-Aransas Reserve find all those things. But they also find dolls. Lots and lots of dolls.

Missing hair and limbs and encrusted in barnacles, the dolls have been appearing on Texas' barrier islands for years. Jace Tunnell, the Director of the Mission Aransas Reserve at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, told Southern Living that the dolls seem particularly drawn to the area between Padre Island and Matagorda Island.

Researchers survey the 40-mile stretch of coast twice a week looking for sea turtles, marine mammals, and endangered bird species. Tunnell describes the creepy dolls and other debris they find along the way as a "perk" of the job.

"Every day is something new," he told McClatchy News. "Just when you think you've found everything that could possibly wash up on shore, something else comes up."

Tunnell and his team regularly share photos of their findings on Facebook, and the dolls have amassed a bit of a cult following.

But the same questions keep popping up. Why so many dolls? And why here?

First, let us assuage your fears. The area is not cursed. The region is, however, a magnet for debris from Mexico.

"Texas coastal bend beaches get 10 times the amount of trash than any other beach in the Gulf of Mexico," Tunnell told McClatchy.

He explained that dolls of all kinds wash up due to a "loop current" that spans from the Yucatan Peninsula to Florida. This current creates eddies that push debris toward Texas.

WATCH: Alligator Takes an Ocean Journey from Louisiana to Texas

As for the dolls, Tunnell can't say whether or not they're haunted. But he's confident they'll keep washing up.

The creepy dolls are currently being stored in a bucket to be sold at a yearly fundraising auction.

Whatever floats your boat!

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