The unidentified metal ball in Japan left people and officials baffled. But not every mysterious-looking object might have an intriguing story behind it, said Tyson.
Some questions are unanswerable. Even experts like celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson turned clueless in the face of a mysterious metal ball that washed up on a beach in Japan in 2023.
About 1.5 meters in diameter, the giant metal sphere washed up on a local beach in Hamamatsu city. Its appearance left both locals and Japanese authorities perplexed. A localite who often jogs around the beach seemed surprised by the sudden interest in the object. "That ball has been there for a month. I tried to push it, but it wouldn't budge," he informed NHK World news.
A mysterious metal ball spotted on a beach in Hamamatsu City this week prompted local police to scramble the bomb squad. A careful examination revealed it is not a threat -- but shed no light on what it actually is. pic.twitter.com/ytClWsP0bw— NHK WORLD News (@NHKWORLD_News) February 21, 2023
The iron ball that has been the center of intense speculations has baffled the esteemed astrophysicist Tyson as well. In an interview with CNN's Don Lemon, when asked to enlighten the world about the unidentified metal sphere, he revealed that he was as clueless as the rest of the world.
He laughed off the news and said, "I have no idea." He added that sometimes experts, too, are equally perplexed. "Why does everybody have to know everything at all times?" he asked the host, making Lemon burst out laughing.
Renowned for his book, The Pluto Files, Tyson admitted that he was oblivious to the actual identity of the metal ball. Lemon then joked about why Tyson appeared on the show if he was unaware. He quipped, "You say 'I don't know' about a lot of stuff, Mr. Astrophysicist."
Tyson immediately shot back: "Because that's what discovery is. Discovery is what you do when you do not know what you are doing."
The mysterious sphere on Enshuhama Beach in the coastal city of Hamamatsu has drawn many hypotheses. People have suspected it to be a spy balloon, a UFO, or even a Dragon Ball.
But Tyson's guess has won him browny points. He jokingly called it a "Godzilla Egg."
Highlighting some other possible explanations, Tyson said: "It could be a hoax, or somebody put it in the ocean and had it wash up. I'd be delighted when we learn what it is. People's imaginations just run wild, and that's fun. That makes great fiction and science fiction stories. But usually it's something less interesting."
An expert team rushed to the beach and used X-ray technology to identify any possible threat the ball could possess, but instead found it hollow. The authorities shunned other fearful indicators that it was involved in espionage by nearby North Korea or China. But the question remains unanswered. What is this metal ball?
The bomb squad team discovered two raised handles on the surface of the metal sphere. It prompted an indication that it was just a mooring buoy that had gotten loose and floated off to the shore, an expert told The New York Times, although Japanese officials have yet to provide a statement to affirm.
Mysterious 1.5-meter metal ball found washed up on Japan beachhttps://t.co/I2TsgXPxoU— The Mainichi (Japan Daily News) (@themainichi) February 24, 2023
Twitterati had a laugh about Tyson's Godzila reference and had some chuckle-worthy comments. Twitter user, @Joe69601758, wrote: "Because physics is the study of random shit that washes up on beaches."
Another Twitter user had an interesting take on bringing an astrophysicist on board. @jimdorf commented: "Um, why would you ask an astrophysicist about a metal object that clearly has a mount sticking out of it for a cable/chain that obviously served some 'industrial' purpose?"
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson says he has "no idea" what the large metal sphere that has washed up on a beach in Japan really is https://t.co/VCiPbl63T0 pic.twitter.com/6kjk7fwc6O— CNN (@CNN) February 23, 2023
According to a report by BBC, they removed the metal ball from the beach. The ball would be stored for some time before being disposed of.