Scientists have discovered thousands of holes, some measuring 600 feet, on the ocean floors off the Californian coast and they are unsure about the mechanism behind these gaping holes.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have recently found 15,000 holes during a recent survey when they were studying these holes across the sea floor in California’s Big Sur region.
These holes average 574 feet across and 16 feet deep and some of the holes uncovered by MBARI’s underwater vehicles revealed the existence of more than 15,000 smaller holes, measuring 36 feet across and 3 feet deep.
As yet, an explanation for these holes eludes the scientists.
The contents of these holes also revealed something uncanny as they were able to see around one-third of the holes containing human waste like filled trash bags, 5 gallon buckets and a storage trunk and one-fifth of the holes containing other materials like kelp holdfasts including a whale skull.
Experts say that the contents within the holes may be explicable, in that they could be dropped overboard from small boats and ships however the provenance of the holes itself is shrouded in mystery.
Some of the larger holes were estimated to be inactive for about 50,000 years however the smaller ones could very well be new.
One theory that attempts to explain the formation of the holes through gases effervescing as bubbles in the seafloor has been discarded as there was no evidence of gas or fluid vents found anywhere near the holes.
It could well be humans who could be creating these holes by dumping their waste, researchers say this could be the best theory and once they reach the marine habitats of the creatures, they would turn it into a home which could push the sediment up and away from the seafloor, resulting in these holes.
The process would have been happening for a protracted amount of time for the larger holes but this still doesn’t explain the presence of every hole in the seafloor as this process could account for only one-third of the holes.
Experts noted that marine trash could possibly account for at least 4,500 of the 15,000 holes however the rest are still a mystery.