Japan Would Like to Know What This Giant Ball Is

No one has yet IDed the hollow metal orb that washed up on the beach in the city of Hamamatsu
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2023 9:00 AM CST
Updated Feb 22, 2023 9:11 AM CST

As US and Canadian officials are still scratching their heads over a series of mysterious objects that floated over North America earlier this month, a new mystery has cropped up across the Pacific. According to TV Asahi, a woman taking a stroll Tuesday on Enshuhama Beach, located in the Japanese coastal city of Hamamatsu, stumbled upon a giant metal ball in the sand that appears to be made of iron, and that officials now are struggling to identify. Described by the Guardian as an "orangey-brown" orb "with what appear to be darker patches of rust" that boasts a diameter of 5 feet or so, the ball isn't a mine that went adrift (experts set X-rays on it and found out it was hollow), and it doesn't show any clues that it's a spy contraption sent over by China or North Korea.

The Telegraph has video of the ball set snugly into the sand just a few feet from the water's edge, waves crashing nearby, as multiple helmeted authorities hover around it. Vice notes that officials blocked off an area with a 600-foot radius around the ball as they examined it, though those restrictions were lifted after they determined the ball isn't in danger of exploding. There are two raised handles on it, leading some to speculate it may simply be a mooring buoy that broke loose and floated to shore. Photos of the ball have been sent to the Japanese military and coast guard to see if they can offer any clues.

Observers on social media are throwing all kinds of wild explanations (and jokes) out there on what the ball could be, from a crashed UFO, to a wish-granting orb from the manga series Dragon Ball, to an egg from Godzilla. As Vice notes, however, "in all likelihood, the drama around the unidentified sphere in Japan will come to a similarly unspectacular conclusion" as the unidentified objects that flew over North America, which many believe were just research balloons. Meanwhile, one local isn't sure why there's suddenly all this hubbub around the beached ball. "It's been there for a month," the man tells public broadcaster NHK, via the Guardian. He says he tried to push the ball himself, "but it wouldn't budge." (Read more Japan stories.)

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