Scientists are baffled at the discovery of mysterious holes at the bottom of the ocean that look "human-made".
They were found by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Okeanos Explorer ship, which carried out three ocean exploration expeditions as part of the Voyage to the Ridge 2022.
The NOAA is now conducting mapping operations around the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone, Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the Azores Plateau in the North Atlantic Ocean as they try to solve the mystery.
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However, they also put a call out to internet sleuths asking what – or who – they think made the peculiar indentations.
The NOAA said on Facebook: “Okay Facebookers, time to get out those scientist hats!
“On Saturday’s Okeanos dive, we observed several of these sublinear sets of holes in the sediment.
“These holes have been previously reported from the region, but their origin remains a mystery.
“While they look almost human-made, the little piles of sediment around the holes make them seem like they were excavated by… something.
“What’s your hypothesis?”
The responses have ranged from extra-terrestrials to unknown species.
One person suggested: “A previously unknown crab species which hides in rectangular holes and hunts in linear packs, waiting for prey to fall into their clutches.”
“I’m not saying that it’s aliens, but it’s aliens,” another claimed.
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A third wrote: "Aliens travelled billions of light years to drill a line of holes in the ocean floor."
Others were on hand with some more realistic, albeit less fun, suggestions, with one theorising that organic breakdowns or seismic pressures along tectonic plates may have caused bubble holes.
Another wrote: “This to me looks like the sediment is falling through, or water flowing up from a crack in a geological shelf or cave roof.
“I suspect either ancient coral or some sedimentary rock structure underneath has a void for which material is being washed out further away. I would start to see if there was any caves or deformation in the seabed.”
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