604 words • 2~4 min read

No, there isn’t a UFO sitting in Antarctica.

One of my favorite things to do is browse through google maps looking for weird formations and places of historical curiosity. Apparently I’m not alone, as there are hordes of map hunters searching for the bizarre on this increasingly bizarre world. That’s right! It’s time for yet another installment of “this thing on Google maps is not a sea-monster/alien/UFO/ancient pyramid”.

The Object on Google Earth.

This newest discovery comes from Antarctica, where monster hunters have found what looks like a perfect disc sitting on the ice. Could it be a UFO? The image is surprisingly compelling.

It’s very round for one, and it looks like it’s sitting on top of a glacier, partially covered by rock. The 60-foot-wide object looks remarkably like a classic flying saucer.

SPOILERS: It’s not a UFO.

What we’re looking at is almost certainly a meltwater pond on the slope of a glacier. If you pan the map a little to the south, you can see other meltwater ponds, with that same fringing pattern and impressively round edges. It’s just a trick of the light that makes it look like an object sitting on top rather than a hole. Sorry folks, but there’s no aliens here.

As the Antarctic ice sheets collapse and glaciers melt, we’re likely to keeping finding more weird formations and though they may not be extraterrestrial, there are strange and wonderful organisms living beneath the Antarctic ice that no one has ever seen before.

Previously:


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Deep-sea biologist, population/conservation geneticist, backyard farm advocate. The deep sea is Earth's last great wilderness.


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