Speculations are swirling across the internet after Japanese officials said they are investigating a metallic sphere of unknown origin that washed up on Enshu Beach in Hamamatsu City.
The appearance sphere prompted authorities to block off a 200-meter radius around the beach to investigate it, and have not determined what it is, Asahi News reported.
The sphere was first discovered by a woman who reported it to the police on Tuesday, according to Fuji News Network.
The ball is described as being an “iron ball” with a diameter of 1.5 meters. Officials quickly restricted access to the beach 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 hooked to something else.
Footage shared on social media shows officials dressed in protective gear surrounding the object with equipment.
According to the outlet, an X-ray scan revealed that it was hollow. Officials determined that there was no risk of an explosion and lifted restrictions at 4 p.m., but have not yet determined what the object is, FNN reported.
The object closely resembles mooring buoys that are typically used as an alternative to anchors. These types of buoys usually have a metal shell. Still, commenters on social media speculated wildly about what the ball could be. It has been compared to spheres from various sci-fi films, such as War of the Worlds and Godzilla.
Public interest in unidentified objects is at an all-time high after the U.S. shot down an alleged Chinese spy balloon this month, and several other unidentified objects. But not all these objects have extraterrestrial or even military ties.
President Biden announced that the objects shot down were in fact most likely humdrum research balloons. China has also claimed that the alleged spy balloon was merely meant for civilian research.
In all likelihood, the drama around the unidentified sphere in Japan will probably come to a similarly unspectacular conclusion.
JAPAN — A mysterious metal sphere discovered on the shore of Shizuoka.
Access to the beach is restricted, experts on scene. pic.twitter.com/LuHAMHCZgb
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) February 21, 2023
— NHK静岡放送局 (@nhk_shizuoka_) February 21, 2023