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A 770kg Underwater Observatory Disappeared Overnight, And No One Knows What Happened

Scientists, and netizens, have been left baffled by the overnight disappearance of a gigantic underwater observatory from the Baltic seabed.

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Updated:September 11, 2019, 9:52 AM IST
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A 770kg Underwater Observatory Disappeared Overnight, And No One Knows What Happened
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Scientists, and netizens, have been left baffled by the overnight disappearance of a gigantic underwater observatory from the Baltic seabed.

The Boknis Eck Observatory was located in a restricted area at the entrance to Eckernförde Bay off the German coast to record scientific data about changes in the waters, Fox News reported.

The 770kg observatory made its last data transmission on August 21 before it went missing with “precious data” about the Baltic Sea. It was planted by German research organizations GEOMAR and HZG in December 2016.

The GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel said it feared the observatory might have been “forcibly removed” from its seabed site due to a storm, current or sea creature, according to CNN.

“A shredded cable” that once anchored the observatory which comprised two "desk-sized" racks, was all investigators could find.

Both the power source, tethered to the mainland by a cable, and the other rack containing data-transmission sensors were missing when divers went to investigate, GEOMAR researcher and marine biogeochemist Herman Bange said in a statement.

"The devices were gone," Bange said, according to CNN. "The divers could not find them anymore."

“At first we thought of a transmission error," he was quoted as saying.

The data collected by $330,000 observatory was "downright priceless," he said as its sensors measure the sea's salinity, concentrations of methane, oxygen and carbon dioxide and temperature.

Bange said the police has been notified just in case to probe the involvement of humans in the disappearance, which has also left several netizens probing for answers with some calling the disappearance handiwork of aliens.

Bange , however, told Sky News on Friday that “neither aliens, the Russian Navy nor a torpedo attack can be made responsible for the missing observatory!"

He added that the "most likely scenario" was that a fisherman had accidentally severed the sensors with a trawler net.

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