Thousands of mysterious holes have been discovered on the ocean floor along the coast of California.
The origin and cause of those almost 15,000 enigmatic craters, some measuring up to nearly 600 feet across, now baffle scientists.
Similar to large, uniformly-spaced craters found around islands in Croatia, thousands of mysterious holes have been discovered by Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute scientists in the seabed off Big Sur, California.
What Are the Strange Holes Off California?
While surveying the deep sea floor, scientists stumbled upon large pockmarks, measuring on average about 600 feet (175 meters) across and 16 feet (5 meters) deep. These larger holes are nearly circular and fairly evenly spaced.
The first ones had already been discovered in 1999, but recent surveys have revealed over 5,200 large pockmarks spread across 500 square miles (1,300 square kilometers).
Additionally, detailed seafloor surveys using sonar revealed thousands of smaller submarine holes, measuring 36 feet (11 meters) across and (3 feet (1 meter) deep. These more than 10,000 small pits are termed micro-depressions. The micro craters are steeper than the pockmarks and are elongated in one direction.
How Did These Mysterious Holes Off California form?
As already introduced, seafloor pockmarks have already been found in Croatia and other places around the world.
The best scientific explanation is that those large cavities were created by the release or underwater explosion of methane gas or other fluids contained in the seafloor.
An enormous amount of active methane seeps have been discovered off Oregon’s coast recently.
However MBARI researchers say they have found no evidence of methane in the sediment or seawater in this region and that the pockmarks have been inactive for at least 50,000 years. Really? Because we know it’s there guys!
In contrast, the micro-depressions formed in young sediment. They have tails that are all oriented in the same direction and contain rocks, kelp holdfasts, bones, trash, or fishing gear. Could they have been digged by seafloor currents? Or are they just the results of smaller methane eruptions?
The Mystery Behind the Pockmarks and micro-Depressions off California
- The pockmarks and micro-depressions in this area are both holes in the seafloor that occur in softer sediments, but they are morphologically distinct.
- The cause and persistence of the pockmarks still remains a mystery.
- There is no evidence they were created from gas or fluid in the seafloor in the recent past.
- The micro-depressions are recently formed erosion features. They are not small pockmarks.
In overall, a lot more work needs to be done to understand how all these features were formed, and this work is in progress.
And just be prepared in case of a giant, submarine methane explosion.
We know methane is seeping off the ground along the Cascadia subduction zone…
Read more about this terrifying scenario on Steve Quayle and watch the trailer of his new movie called Cascadia: The Big One: