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Discovery of mysterious holes on Atlantic Seafloor leaves scientists baffled

Discovery of mysterious holes on Atlantic Seafloor leaves scientists baffled

A series of mysterious holes have been discovered by scientists on the Atlantic Ocean floor. They then asked users online to offer their theories as to the formation of these holes.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) posted photos of the underwater formation on Facebook. They said the "perfectly aligned" holes were discovered on Saturday but had previously been reported from the area. These unique indentations were discovered as part of the three telepresence-enabled ocean exploration expeditions aboard the NOAA vessel Okeanos Explorer, "Voyage to the Ridge 2022", NDTV reported.

"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," the NOAA said on social media.

"While they look almost human-made, the little piles of sediment around the holes make them seem like they were excavated by...something," it added and further asked Facebookers for their "hypotheses".

This challenge brought forth quite a few responses. One person wrote, "I'm not saying that it's aliens, but it's aliens." Another suggested that they are "minor cracks" that allow gasses to escape. "It looks somewhat similar to sand bursts that appear during earthquakes," the user wrote.

A third said, "This to me looks like the sediments are falling through, or water flowing up from a crack in a geological shelf or cave roof." "A previously unknown crab species which hides in rectangular holes and hunts in linear packs, waiting for prey to fall into their clutches," commented fourth.

Scientists investigated the ocean floor during Saturday's dive at about 3 kilometres below the ocean floor while visiting the summit of an underwater volcano near the Mid-Atlantic Ridge - north of the Azores. The discovery was made during the Okeanos ship's Voyage to the Ridge 2022 expedition, in which scientists are exploring and mapping deep regions of the ocean that are not well understood.

NOAA said in a press release that researchers could not pinpoint the source of the holes or how they were made. But they hypothesize that the burrows may indicate excavation by a sediment-dwelling organism or removal by burrowing, perhaps by feeding appendages on the sediment surface by large animals.

"The ultimate origin of the holes still remains a mystery," the federal organisation concluded.

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TAGS:ScientistsAtlantic seafloor
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