Is this the Hudson Valley's version of Sharknado? Crayfish are randomly appearing in people's backyards, driveways, and streets with no obvious body of water nearby... and residents are stumped.

Marissa Bokowski
Melissa Bokowski
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Mystery Crayfish in the Hudson Valley, NY

It all started with a local Facebook post from Hopewell Junction resident Melissa Bokowski. "Weirdest thing!!! CRAYFISH in our yard! And two of them!!", she began. "Is it normal for two crayfish to wander off from water?"

Melissa later found a third tiny crustacean in her driveway. The theories of how the mini-lobsters got there were just as strange as the other recent crayfish encounters other Hudson Valley residents had recently experienced.

Marissa Bokowski
Melissa Bokowski
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Crayfish in Dutchess County Backyards

"Omg my husband found one in our driveway yesterday!!", commented another Hopewell resident. "Same here, had 2 in our yard", yet another woman reported. With each crayfish-out-of-water, the mystery deepened. The theories on how they got there ranged from insightful to hilarious.

Marissa Bokowski
Melissa Bokowski
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Where are Mystery Crayfish Coming From?

"Maybe dropped out of a bird’s mouth?", a Hopewell man asked. "Quite possible a neighbor kid brought them home from school and they were released. I forget what grade they study them but at the end of the year some lucky kids get to bring them home", was another very likely possibility. Some research showed that in a surprising turn of events, it turns out crayfish don't need water to survive and may have been in the yard on purpose.

Terrestrial Crayfish in the Hudson Valley, NY

In certain regions, crayfish will burrow in local yards if the ground is particularly wet. Although no one reported seeing crayfish mounds in their posts, apparently it's common for these Cajun delicacies to go real estate shopping far away from streams or rivers. Labeled "terrestrial crayfish", there isn't a specific lawn issue that they cause (other than making some small dirt mounds), so it can be up to the property owner whether they want to "keep" them or not.

Marissa Bokowski
Melissa Bokowski
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Happy Ending for Mystery Crayfish

So while it probably wasn't a "Cray-nado" that dropped these pinching cuties off in residential neighborhoods as one astute commenter suggested, we can still dream! Just make sure that the crayfish you find are native species and not these invasive Rusty Crayfish. And good news for the original critters found by Melissa: she brought them to Fahnestock State Park in Putnam, NY (above) where they will live in their nature center.

Want more animal rescues? Flashback to February when first responders in Newburgh rescued this freezing dog from the Hudson River below, and keep scrolling to see what it takes to get a freaking HORSE out of a backyard pool.

City of Newburgh Firefighters Save Dog on Frozen Hudson River

Lilly, the dog needed a little help from Truck 1 and the City of Newburgh Fire Department back on February 11th. Thankfully, she was returned to her owners without injury. Round of ap-PAWS for the City of Newburgh Fire Department for their quick response and heroic efforts.

Horse In A New York Backyard Pool?! See The Dramatic Rescue Photos

God Bless our amazing First Responders. They have to see and react to unique situations every day to save not just human lives, but also those of our four-legged friends. This past weekend a horse-faced a life or death situation after getting caught in the cover in someone's backyard pool in Bohemia, New York. Thankfully, the Bohemia Fire Department came to the rescue.