Melbourne residents awoke this sunny morning to see an Unidentified Flying Object in the sky and some of y’all really thought the world was about to end.

One resident of Melbourne’s northern suburbs posted a photo of the large, elongated, grey, floating mystery to the Brunswick Neighbourhood Network Facebook group on Wednesday and called it a “strange object flying over Brunswick East this morning 6:30 — 7:00am.”

It immediately attracted a lot of shocked reacts and comments and, to be fair, the picture was pretty freaky. It looked like the Holy Grail beaming down from the heavens or the “angel skeleton” Lisa found in an episode of The Simpsons, which turned out to be a marketing stunt for Springfield’s new mall.

Melbourne residents this morning.

But alas it was not angels or aliens bringing the end of the world on a Wednesday, it was in fact a hot air balloon by US artist KAWS, i.e. Brian Donnelly. The balloon was in the form of Donnelly’s famous Companion character based on Micky Mouse, but with a skull and crossbones for a head.

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A post shared by @kaws

The balloon lifted off in the UK in 2021. It was brought to Melbourne by the NGV, which hosted a massive KAWS exhibition in 2019.

The balloon was spotted all over Melbourne, hovering right above the inner suburb of Richmond and apparently “distracting” drivers over the Monash freeway. It could have kawsed an accident!

The KAWS hot air balloon over Richmond on Wednesday morning. Image source: Facebook.

One Fitzroy resident commented: “From our balcony in Fitzroy it looked like a hot air balloon shaped like some dick and balls…”

Another said it looked like Santa’s sleigh. Cute.

Normally I hate PR stunts, but the reactions of genuine concern made this one almost worthwhile.

Image: Facebook