Mysterious metal sphere removed from Japanese beach

Mysterious metal sphere removed from Japanese beach

A large, mysterious metal ball that washed ashore on a Japanese beach this week has been removed.

The nearly 5-foot-wide iron object was found on on Enshu Beach in Hamamatsu City on Tuesday and set off an investigation into whether it was a bomb or mine. Restricting access to a 200-meter radius on the beach.

After X-raying the unidentified floating object, officials were able to determine it was not an explosive but were stumped as to what the hollow orb was or where it came from.

The discovery came after the U.S. shot down a suspected Chinese flying balloon and several mysterious objects earlier this month.

While some on social media declared the object a “Godzilla egg,” a chorus of others said it was most likely a harmless buoy.

Prof. Mark Inall, an oceanographer at the Scottish Association for Marine Science, told BBC News on Thursday it was a buoy used to keep scientific instruments afloat, but those can often get lost after breaking from their anchors and float for decades and lose all identifying features.

The ball was removed and officials said it will be stored “for a certain period of time” before it is “disposed of.”

The ball isn’t believed to be connected to the Chinese spy balloon that was shot down off the coast of South Carolina earlier in February nor other unidentified flying objects — most likely research balloons — that were subsequently shot down.

The sphere was not believed to be involved in any sort of espionage, but will be inspected by the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and Coast Guard, according to the Guardian.