By: Emma Lu
North of Azores, a group of Portuguese islands, lays one of the most puzzling sights scientists have ever laid their eyes on. A series of small holes, each spaced 4 or more inches apart were discovered on the ocean floor. Coincidentally, similar holes were reported about 18 years ago near the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Still, no one knows how these holes came to be—could they be manmade? Could it be extraterrestrials, submarines, or even a sand-dwelling sea creature? What could have created these mysterious holes?
“The origin of the holes has scientists stumped,” said a Twitter post from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Ocean Exploration project. “The holes look human made, but the little piles of sediment around them suggest they were excavated by … something.” This is a phenomenon that has no prior research or evidence on. Even the previous hole sightings had no explanations. No one knows the real cause, but the scientists hope that the public may come forward with theories. On the internet, speculation has spawned about the topic. The possibility of a deep-sea creature seemed most appealing. In papers, it has been previously suggested that the cause is marine life walking or swimming above sediment. The problem is, we don’t have any definite answers, but we most likely will soon—from a new expedition planned to conclude in September.
However, these holes are only one of the answers they are searching for on a new expedition that will take them to New England, Puerto Rico, and Azores. What else could they be looking for on the expedition? For one thing, coral and sponge need to be monitored, as they are crucial to an underwater habitat. Such explorations will only continue to deepen our understanding of biodiversity. With over 70% of our planet’s surface being bodies of water, it’s becoming more important than ever to study the seas.