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The above image has become the subject of wild speculation after it appeared in a video posted by a popular YouTube conspiracy theory channel yesterday.
Published by SecureTeam10, and racking up over 760,000 views at the time of writing (no, we’re not going to link to it), the video claims the image spotted in a Google Earth video is evidence of a crashed UFO.
The satellite photo shows a snowy, mountainous island off the coast of Antarctica in the Atlantic Ocean called South Georgia Island, where a block of something appears to have slid across the snow, leaving tracks behind.
“It almost appears as if something has crash landed down on the snowy surface below,” narrator Tyler Glockner conjectured. He also said the object could be a submarine stuck in the snow.
But if you zoom out to look at the bigger picture, the trail actually leads back to a mountain peak, at the foot of which appears a mass of disturbed snow.
According to geologist Richard Waller from Keele University, the most likely explanation is not aliens or a peculiarly displaced submarine, but Earth just being Earth.
“It looks to me as though this feature is related to a large avalanche from a nearby mountain,” he told The Daily Mail.
“Part of a hanging glacier appears to have collapsed, you can see the avalanche debris at the foot of the slope, and this could be a large block of ice that has travelled further as a consequence.
“The track shows that it’s sliding over a snow-covered glacier before it comes to a rest.”
In the years it’s been operating, the SecureTeam10 channel has generated much criticism even within the conspiracy theory community for conducting poor research and creating sensationalist “hoax” videos to profit from YouTube views.
Our natural world is definitely awesome enough – full of strange lights, bizarre creatures and plants, and weird geology. With so much to explore and discover, we certainly don’t need fake UFOs to make the day more exciting.