A group of scientists exploring a submerged mountain range in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean came across something strange. The researchers have identified an organized series of holes drilled into the seafloor and, so far, have no clues as to the origin of the trail.
The discovery was made on Saturday (23) by a team from the United States National Oceanic Agency (NOAA). Scientists explained that the holes found in the depths connect in almost straight lines, following an order, as if they were drawings. However, the agency’s experts still don’t know how these holes came about.
“We observed several of these linear sets of holes in the sediment. These holes have been previously reported in the region, but their origin remains a mystery,” NOAA said.
Although they look almost man-made, the small piles of sediment around the holes make them look like they’ve been dug by…something.
The ocean expedition reached depths of 2.7 km as divers visited the summit of an underwater volcano north of the Azores, near Portugal. A remotely operated camera was used to securely record the findings.
The images show that the holes were found in a flat sandy surface. The activities at the site are part of the Voyage to the Ridge 2022 expedition, which is exploring and mapping the deep water areas of the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the Azores Plateau, which are still unknown to experts. .
“The Mid-Atlantic Ridge stretches 10,000 miles from north to south and is considered the longest mountain range in the world and one of the most prominent geological features on Earth,” explains NOAA. “Most are underwater and therefore much remains unexplored. With active tectonic expansion, the sea is the site of frequent earthquakes.”
The agency also points out other notable features of the submerged area: “Hydrothermal vents can form where magma provides heat as it rises to the seafloor. These vents are known to support diverse chemosynthetic communities. However, little is known about the life in these places, once the vents are extinct, or that life exists beyond them”.
Despite many new discoveries, the origin of the trail remains a mystery.