A metal orb of unknown origin washed up on a beach in Japan, prompting authorities to block off the area to investigate it.
A local woman reported the sphere to the police on Tuesday, Asahi News reported. The ball washed up on Enshu beach in the city of Hamamatsu, the agency said, and is described as an “iron ball” with a diameter of 1.5 meters. Authorities quickly restricted access to an area spanning a 200 meter radius while they investigated.
Asahi News noted that the object is rusted – hence the assumption that it is made of iron – and has a handle-like protrusion that would allow it to be attached to something else.
Footage from the Fuji News Network (FNN) showed workers dressed in protective gear surrounding the object with equipment. According to the network, an X-ray scan revealed that it was hollow. Authorities determined there was no risk of an explosion and lifted restrictions at 4 p.m., but have yet to determine what it is, FNN reported.
Although nothing has been confirmed, the object resembles mooring buoys that are normally used as an alternative to anchors. These types of buoys usually have a metal shell. Still, commentators on social media have speculated a lot about what the ball could be. It has been compared to spheres from various science fiction films such as War of the Worlds and Godzilla.
Public interest in unidentified objects is at an all-time high after the US shot down an alleged Chinese spy balloon this month and several other (at the time) unidentified objects. But not all of these objects have extraterrestrial or even military ties – President Biden announced that the downed objects were actually drab research balloons. China also claimed that the alleged spy balloon was for civilian research only.
In all likelihood, the drama surrounding the unnamed orb in Japan will come to an unspectacular conclusion.