Scientists studying a submerged mountain range in the mid-Atlantic have stumbled upon an inexplicable phenomenon: a series of holes that appear to have been punched into the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. In the photographs taken by scientists, it can be seen that the points are connected in almost straight lines or trails. NOAA Ocean Exploration is not yet sure how to explain this.
“We have 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, NOAA Ocean Exploration reported. “While they look almost human-made, the small piles of sediment around the holes give the impression that they were dug out by…someone.”
The holes were discovered during a dive to the top of an underwater volcano north of the Azores on July 23 to a depth of 2.7 km. A remote controlled camera was used to record trails safely.
NOAA released photos online showing that the holes were found on a flat sandy surface. Scientists invited the public to express their theories about the origin of the holes.
Answers ranged from aliens to unknown species.
One user suggested:
“A previously unknown type of crab that hides in rectangular burrows and hunts in linear flocks, waiting for prey to fall into their paws.”
“There are many theories that aliens come to us not from another solar system at all, but from the oceans. I suggest drilling holes to see what is under them.”
Others have put forward somewhat more realistic hypotheses: organic deposits or seismic pressure along tectonic plates could have caused these strange holes.
“It seems to me that sedimentary rocks are sinking or water is flowing from a crack in a geological shelf or cave roof.”
“I suspect that either the ancient coral or some sedimentary rock structure beneath it has a void from which material is being washed out further. I would start looking to see if there are any caves or deformations on the seabed.”
The discovery was made as part of the Journey to the Ridge 2022 expedition. Its participants explore and map the little-studied deep water areas of the Charlie-Gibbs Fault Zone, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the Azores Plateau.
The Mid-Atlantic Ridge stretches for 16,000 km from north to south and is considered the longest mountain range in the world and one of the most prominent geological features on Earth.