The public beaches in Wells reopen Monday as coronavirus-related restrictions begin to relax. Credit: Taylor Gleason / CBS 13

Beachgoers are reporting sightings of mysterious dead bugs washing ashore at Wells Beach that are staining their feet.

The bugs were first observed at the beach last weekend, the Portland Press Herald reported.

Ed Smith, a Wells local, told the Portland newspaper that he was walking along the shoreline on Sunday night, and when he came home his feet were stained from an unknown substance.

Smith was curious what it was, so he turned to local and state officials, as well as marine geologist Steve Dickson, who participates in the State Geological Survey.

Dickson revealed that the substance was millions of bug carcasses that had washed ashore. He said that the carcasses float in the ocean, but currents can wash them ashore and they settle on the beach as the tide retreats.

Dickson told the Press Herald that he is working with entomologists to figure out the type of bug that washed ashore, where the bugs came from and why they have suddenly appeared.

According to the newspaper, there have been similar sightings at York Beach and in Ogunquit.

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.