A solar anomaly pictured by Nasa has excited conspiracy theorists, who speculated that it was everything from aliens powering up a giant spacecraft to a black hole about to consume the Sun.
Amateur astronomers took images of the Sun released daily by Nasa, and spotted an admittedly strange 'funnel' emerging from the surface.
After some tinkering on Photoshop the images appeared to show a sphere above the Sun 'drawing energy' from near to the surface into a planet-sized ball.
While the images were inconclusive, they nevertheless sent the homegrown 'experts' of the internet into overdrive.
On one corner of the internet in particular, GodlikeProductions.com, members set about speculating on the solar phenomenon and its origins.
Some of the board's members claimed that the anomaly was created by the particle accelerator at Cern in Switzerland, which was once subject to a lawsuit over the idea that it would destroy the Earth in a black hole.
Others wondered if it showed an alien spacecraft, a hidden planet, or if it pictured some kind of "Sun tornado" taking over the celestial body's surface.
"Sun tornadoes?" responded another member, possibly ironically. "Haha, is that the best [you can] imagine? You pathetic scum are not even creative at attempting to hide the truth … What they were seeing on the satellite images are actually phantom wormholes."
Speculation increased to a fever pitch after a later video showed the ball growing in size and then 'blasting' away from the surface of the Sun:
"It's a spaceship, siphoning from the sun. It's also agitating it," said one of the board's members. "It flew away, and it wasn't blasted away."
Another member suggested that it might be a "space faring life form".
He went on: "The parameters we set for ourselves when we try and imagine other life forms are pretty narrow for the most part."
Another concurred: "It definitely looks more like some sort of creature than it does a ship."
Briefly the conversation on the board deviated over the question of whether or not the Sun was hot or cold.
"We have been taught it is hot. It could very well be cold … can you imagine the rewriting of everything about the sun? WOW!" one said.
Indeed, the precise origins of the anomaly have not yet been conclusively explained.
But the mystery appeared to be close to being solved, after an explanation appeared online identifying the ball as an interesting, but normal feature of some coronal mass ejections, known as a coronal prominence cavity.
The video appearing to explain the mystery concluded:
"So not aliens, not giant spaceships, not rogue planets! Just our exquisitely beautiful sky."
Unfortunately the explanation left a few slightly let down.
"Darn," said one YouTube commenter. "I was kinda hoping Captain Kirk was refilling the dilthium chamber. Oh well."
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