A humongous, strange Hole has just opened up on in the middle of Antarctica. The phenomenon has left experts confused since they are unable to explain what caused its formation.
Spoiler: It’s not aliens.
The mysterious opening—as large as lake superior or the state of Maine and an approximate area of 30,000 square miles—has fueled debate among experts, who are still not sure as to why exactly its there. simialr holes were seen in the past, but none as large as this one.
There are some who blame it on climate change, but there are several other explanations out there that may shed light on what’s going on in Antarctica.
According to atmospheric physicist Kent Moore, a scientist at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus in an interview with Motherboard: the gigantic, mysterious hole “is quite remarkable, it looks like you just punched a hole in the ice.”
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time massive holes have been spotted on the Antarctican landscape.
The mysterious opening—referrede to as a polynya—is strange for a number of reasons but mostly because of its behavior.
The first time scientists spotted something like this was in the 1970’s, but the opening disappeared for several decades before showing up again, which caused confusion among experts.
“At that time, the scientific community had just launched the first satellites that produced images of the sea-ice cover from space,” Dr. Torge Martin of the GEOMAR Research Division explains of its primary finding many decades ago. “On-site measures in the Southern Ocean still require enormous efforts, so they are quite limited.”
The new, gigantic opening was observed by a group of scientists from the University of Toronto and the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM) project, as they were observing the region with satellite technology after a similar hole emerged on Antarctica in the last couple of years.
However, the mysterious opening recently found is believed to be the largest one ever detected, with a diameter of about 30,000 square miles.
“In the depths of winter, for more than a month, we’ve had this area of open water,” says Kent Moore, professor of physics at the University of Toronto. “It’s just extraordinary that this polynya went away for 40 years and then came back.”
There are some who blame the appearance of huge holes on climate change, which is one of the main culprits for a number of abrupt changes spotted on Antarctica in the last couple of years.
However, researchers are yet to find a connection linking climate change and the appearance of massive holes. In other words, they still don’t know what causes them.
Experts from the SOCOM project are performing a study of the massive hole which will hopefully provide more answers than questions.