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'Sonar Anomaly' discovered off North Carolina coast, fascinating scientists

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NOAA's Okeanos Explorer during one of its missions off the southeast coast of the U.S.

NOAA's Okeanos Explorer during one of its missions off the southeast coast of the U.S.  (NOAA)

NOAA explorers have discovered a “sonar anomaly” off the coast of North Carolina.

Scientists have speculated the site could be anything ranging from a shipwreck to a geological formation. NOAA said in a tweet late Wednesday that the region appeared to be “geologic in origins and that they would continue to circumnavigate the rocky feature.”

#Okeanos is headed back to the surface after investigating the "Big Dipper" Anomaly. While the anomaly was geologic in origins it yielded many fish species and other fauna. Learn more about the past dives here: https://t.co/whgpJunuZh pic.twitter.com/cxEsfho5lq

— NOAA Ocean Explorer (@oceanexplorer) June 27, 2018

Researchers aboard the Okeanos Explorer investigated the area they coined the “Big Dipper Anomaly” on Wednesday morning.

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Today #Okeanos is diving on a sonar anomaly that could potentially be a shipwreck. Tune in to help us discover what this sonar anomaly is - be it an archaeology site, a geological formation, or otherwise! Join us live @ https://t.co/a6CNS1u6ZW pic.twitter.com/VwiZWGbc4p

— NOAA Ocean Explorer (@oceanexplorer) June 27, 2018

The exact location of the site is being kept secret.

Nicknamed the “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” North Carolina’s coast is the site of many sunken vessels, including pirate ships, Civil War blockade runners, and German U-boats from World War II, according to the Charlotte Observer.

Wednesday’s mission is part of a larger effort by NOAA to gather data on “unknown and poorly understood deep water areas of the southeastern United States.”

The agency added that despite large population growth on the east coast, “the southeast U.S. continental margin has some of the largest gaps in high resolution ocean mapping data on the East Coast."
 

Joel Langstein is a Fox News College Associate. Follow him on Twitter at @joellangstein

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