A mysterious naval mine inexplicably appeared off Washington state — this is the moment it blew up

(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)A boarding party from the USS Lasalle inspects mines aboard the Iranian ship Iran Ajr in the Persian Gulf, September 21, 1987. The USS Jarett assists in the background.
  • A mysterious naval mine was found off the coast of Washington state Tuesday.
  • The Navy sent an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team to destroy the decades-old weapon while the Coast Guard and local authorities secured the area.
  • The mine’s origin remains unclear.

What appeared to be a contact-style naval mine was detected mysteriously floating off the coast of Washington state Tuesday, prompting the US Navy to send in a team to destroy it, according to local reports.

Images of the mine, which was first discovered by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, showed a round, rust-covered object with rods protruding from it floating in the water near Bainbridge Island, located across the way from Seattle and near Naval Base Kitsap, which is home to one of the Navy’s most important shipyards, Puget Sound.

The Navy sent an Explosive Ordinance Disposal team to deal with the mine while the Coast Guard and local authorities set up a safety zone, encouraging nearby residents to shelter in their homes.

“Upon initial inspection, the unidentified moored mine was found to have decades of marine growth,” the Navy revealed. After lassoing the mine and dragging it out to open waters, the Navy EOD team detonated the mine at around 8 pm Tuesday evening.

The Navy noted that because there was no secondary explosion, the old mine was most likely inert, according to local media. The Navy detonated the mine at sea because it was initially unclear whether or not there were explosives inside.

Exactly how the mine ended up off the coast of Washington remains a mystery.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.