Explorers can see a number of mysterious, “perfectly aligned” holes punched in to the seafloor roughly 1.6 miles (2.6 kilometers) under the ocean surface, plus they do not know who or what made them.
The strange holes were spotted by the crew of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Okeanos Explorer vessel because they investigated the Mid-Atlantic Ridge a mostly unexplored region of the planet earth‘s seafloor that’s section of the world’s largest mountain range.
The holes form a straight line and appearance at regularly repeating distances, plus they are surrounded by tiny mounds of sediment. This is not the 1st time that holes have already been spotted in your community; two marine scientists from the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service also spotted mysterious hollows in the ocean floor throughout a dive in 2004.
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“These holes have already been previously reported from the spot, but their origin remains a mystery,” the NOAA researchers wrote on Facebook (opens in new tab). “While they look almost human made, the tiny piles of sediment round the holes make sure they are seem like these were excavated by… something.”
In 2004, scientists proposed an organism surviving in or sifting through the seafloor’s sediment made the holes, but because no-one has seen such creatures make sure they are, their exact origins are unknown. Public speculation beneath the NOAA post’s Facebook page ranged widely from cracks in the floor’s surface created by escaping gas, to underwater human craft digging for treasure, to ants, aliens and also starfish doing cartwheels.
The unresolved mystery is similar to an underwater “yellow brick road” to Atlantis (opens in new tab) that ocean explorers discovered along with an underwater mountain near Hawaii in-may. Scientists explained that discovery they suspected that cooling and heating of the seafloor across multiple volcanic eruptions created the strange path.
What’s creating the holes, however, may take just a little longer to determine. The researchers will continue steadily to explore the spot until September within the Voyage to the Ridge 2022 expedition, which aims to map out the region’s coral reefs (opens in new tab) and sponge habitats alongside studying the region’s hydrothermal vents and its own fracture and rift zones. Maybe if they are lucky, they could just catch the hole-maker in the act.
Originally published on Live Science.
Ben Turner is really a U.K. based staff writer at Live Science. He covers physics and astronomy, among other topics like weird animals and climate change. He graduated from University College London with a qualification in particle physics before training as a journalist. When he’s not writing, Ben enjoys reading literature, playing your guitar and embarrassing himself with chess.