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Well my creepy followers, I'm have to admit I'm excited and EXTREMELY skeptical about this story. Worst case scenario it may be an archaeological site. I hope they're right, because their credibility may be on the line. But still to early to tell....but be sure I'll update as soon as I hear more!
In June last year, Swedish treasure hunters found a bizarre, disk-like object 90 meters under the Baltic Sea. Speculation is that this is a UFO and a return expedition is now ongoing.
On June 19, 2011, Swedish treasure hunters were exploring the bottom of the Baltic Sea with their sonars, when they noticed a bizarre structure at a depth of 90 meters. International experts have failed to explain these sonar images.
The team describe the object as being covered in soot, with small "fireplace"-like structures, lying at the end of a 300-meter "runway". The object is huge, and rises three or four meters above the seabed and is approximately 60 meters in diameter.
They describe the object is as something round, with rugged edges and concave sides and say that it resembles a "huge mushroom". The center of the object has an "egg-shaped hole" leading inside and surrounding this hole are the odd circular rock formations which look almost "like small fireplaces", with stones covered in "something resembling soot."
The crew also observed a 300-meter-long “trail” that they described as a “runway or a downhill path that is flattened at the seabed with the object at the end of it.”
Now in 2012, after months of preparation, the Ocean X team are returning to try and unveil this mystery. The team is apparently backed by a "secret sponsor" and are hoping to identify the object. According to the team's website, "The expedition started Friday (June) 1st from Norrtälje harbor when Ocean X-Team took their crew out for this exciting adventure trying to find out what the mysterious disk-shaped object is. Unfortunately the weather conditions have been really bad the last days, but now they are on a roll."
NTD Television reports that the team will use equipment to conduct three-dimensional sea floor mapping, and sea floor penetrating equipment. Team member Peter Lindberg explains, "We have divers, we have robot, sophisticated sonar, we will take bottom samples, we will measure for radiation and we will also bring tests with us so we can leave it to a lab."
One of the Ocean X Team divers, Stefan Hogeborn, says, “During my 20-year diving career, including 6000 dives, I have never seen anything like this. Normally stones don’t burn. I can’t explain what we saw, and I went down there to answer questions, but I came up with even more questions.“
Lindberg, told the Daily Mail, “We've heard lots of different kinds of explanations, from George Lucas's spaceship – the Millennium Falcon – to ‘It's some kind of plug to the inner world,’ like it should be hell down there or something,”
In a press release, Lindberg told OceanExplorer.se, ““First we thought this was only stone, but this is something else. And since no volcanic activity has ever been reported in the Baltic Sea the find becomes even stranger. As laymen we can only speculate how this is made by nature, but this is the strangest thing I have ever experienced as a professional diver.”
The group has passed samples of the object to scientists for further examination and other experts are studying the sonar images and processing the rest of the data obtained by the group of treasure hunters.
They do state, though, that sonar-based imagery can be confusing, and natural rock formations have often been taken to be foreign objects.
We will just have to wait and see the results of the tests, to find out what this strange object actually is. The current expedition is expected to last for six to ten days.
Apparently when any electronic equipment approaches the anomaly, it fails....hoax? Wait and see....
Vampire squids, Vampyroteuthis infernalis (Chun, 1903) - which translates to "vampire squid from Hell", are the only known members of the Order Vampyromorphida, the seventh order in the Class Cephalopoda and they combine features from bothoctopodiformes (octopuses) and decapodiformes (squid, cuttlefishes, etc.) suggesting it may represent an ancestral line between the two groups (Robison et al., 2003). Vampire squids, which are not technically true squids, are named for their blue eyes, reddish-brown skin and webbing between their arms. They are small "squids" reaching maximum lengths of 28 cm (withmantle lengths of typically 7.9-12.1 cm (Robison et al., 2003)). Like true squids, there is sexual dimorphism in size: females are larger than males. Vampyroteuthis infernalis has eight long arms and two filaments that extend well past the total length of their body which they can retract into pockets found in their webbing between their arms. They were at first thought to be arms, however they are different in structure and composition, therefore they are believed to be a uniquely derived trait of this amazing species. Suckers are found on the distal half of their arms. There are two fins on the dorsal (upper) surface of their mantles. An interesting phenomenon in this squid is the metamorphosis of the size, shape, and position of the fins as they grow. When their mantles are 15-25 mm in length, a second pair of fins begins to develop in front of their first pair. When the new pair reaches maturity, the original pair is then reabsorbed. The new fins change the vampire squid's swimming style from jet propulsion to fin propulsion.
The body composition of the vampire squid is similar to that of a jellyfish. They have very large eyes; proportionally they have the largest eye-to-body ratio of any animal in the world.
The vampire squid has black chromatophores interspersed with reddish-brown ones. They do not function like the chromatophores in true squid because this species does not have the muscles that control color change. They also lack the ink sacs found in true squid species. Vampire squids are well-adapted to live in deep sea environments with photophores, large circular organs found on the posterior (rear) end of each fin and distributed on their mantle, a funnel, head, and aboral surface (the surface opposite the mouth (or oral surface)), that produce luminescent clouds of glowing particles that last between 2-9 minutes (Grzimek 1972, Wood and Ellis 1999, Wood 1999).
Because of their weak muscles, vampire squids were thought to be slow swimmers, however they can actually swim rapidly for short periods of time using their fins. They also have a highly-developed statocyst, an organ that aids in balance, that gives them agility. This geosensory organ consists of a sac-like structure and numerous innervated sensory hairs. A statolith is found in the sac-like structure that possesses inertia causing the mass to move when accelerated. This response to gravity activates neurons providing feedback to the squid on its orientation, which aids in balance. The swim speed of the vampire is estimated at two body lengths/sec, which the animal can maintain for short distances. When threatened, the vampire squid moves its fins toward the funnel and emits a jet of water from the mantle. A defensive posture has been described as a "pineapple posture" when the arms and web are spread over the head and mantle. This position protects the head and mantle and the animal is further camouflaged by its dark body. The arm tips and the base of the fins also luminescent by glowing or flashing, which is usually followed by an escape response. The vampire squid will also flail its arms to confuse predators by apparently making it difficult to determine the squids exact location (Portner, et al. 1994, Seibel, et al. 1997, Young 1999, Wood 1999).
Vampire squid are found in the temperate and tropical regions of the ocean. They occupy meso- to bathypelagic depths where very little light penetrates between 300-3,000 m and are typically found between 600-1,200 m. Their north-south distribution is localized between the 40°N-S latitudes where the water is 2-6°C. Studies conducted at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California revealed that Vampyroteuthis infernalis is confined to the oxygen minimum layer in theMonterey Bay at depths between 600-900 m and oxygen levels of around 0.4 ml/l.
Feeding Behavior (Ecology)
The vampire squid is a carnivorous animal and has been reported to feed upon copepods, prawns and cnidarians (Robison et al., 2003). They have a very low mass-specific metabolic rate because of their decreased reliance on locomotion for escaping predators and capturing prey. Sensory filaments and light-producing organs at the arm tips (Robison et al., 2003) are used to attract/find food and escape predators in the deep sea. The squid uses one filament at a time to find its prey, then swims around in a circle hoping to catch the prey (Seibel, et al. 1998, Wood and Ellis 1999, Wood 1999).
It is thought that spawning occurs in this squid's deep water habitat. Like true squids, males likely transfer spermatophoresto the female from their funnel. Female vampire squids are larger than the males and discharge fertilized eggs directly into the water. Mature eggs are fairly large at 3-4 mm in diameter and are found free-floating in small masses in deep water (Grzimek 1972, Young 1999).
After Bart Jansen's cat Orville was killed by a car, the artist had the animal taxidermied and then, "after a period of mourning," converted the stuffed kitty into a radio-controlled quadcopter. The video is below.
It's not clear whether or not Orville always dreamed of being a flying cat, but let's assume that he did, and that this is the ultimate demonstration of Mr. Jansen's respect for his deceased pet. Orville is currently on display in Amsterdam, at the Kunstrai art festival.