PHOTO: Scientists Discover Mysterious Holes on the Ocean Floor, Leaving Experts Puzzled

by Lauren Boisvert

Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association discovered something weird at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean recently. Now, they’re asking all of us amateur scientists for help. On July 25, the NOAA posted photos on Facebook of strange holes in the ocean floor. The holes are all in a row and perfectly spaced apart. They look manmade, but the question is how?

“On Saturday’s #Okeanos dive, we observed several of these sublinear sets of holes in the sediment,” the NOAA posted on Facebook. “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.”

The NOAA then asked Facebook users for their hypotheses. A few commenters had some actual plausible answers, while others made some good ocean-themed jokes. “I think it is a minor crack in the surface which allowed gasses to escape. It looks somewhat similar to sand bursts that appear during earth quakes,” wrote Facebook user Phil Ashley. JT Williams wrote, “Mollusk of some sort under the sand blows out a vent then slowly moves along blowing another vent when it rests.”

“Remnants of the world’s smallest Kaiju breach,” joked Ellen Andersen, referencing the movie “Pacific Rim,” while Randy Lorence wrote, “I would say Star Fish doing cartwheels.”

While the starfish doing cartwheels is the most enjoyable hypothesis to imagine, I’m not sure it’s the most scientifically plausible. Personally, my first thought when I see this is a fish was driving a tiny deep-ocean tractor. Don’t ask me why that’s my first thought, it just is. Someone’s got to plow the fields, am I right? Where do you think kelp comes from?

All jokes aside, this is one ocean mystery we can speculate about all day, but I’m not sure if we’re going to solve it any time soon.

Scientists Discover Over 30 New Deep-Ocean Species

The deep ocean is like space: mysterious, undiscovered, and actually pretty terrifying. But, it’s also fascinating, and we’re learning new things about it all the time. Recently, scientists on a Pacific exploration discovered over 30 new species of deep-sea creatures. The various new species were collected from the abyssal plains of the Clarion-Clipperton Zone in the central Pacific Ocean. Of the 55 specimens collected, 48 were completely different species, according to the Natural History Museum in London.

Museum researcher Dr Guadalupe Bribiesca-Contreras wrote in the study, “This research is important not only due to the number of potentially new species discovered, but because these megafauna specimens have previously only been studied from seabed images.”

This new study on ocean diversity is definitely one step in the right direction to discovering more about deep-sea life that we usually are unable to reach.