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14th Sep 2023

‘Once in a lifetime asteroid’ crater turns out to be hole dug by lads with kid’s spade

Steve Hopkins

Virgin Media News has been forced to update its report

“It’s a huge, mysterious crater that looks out of this world,” a Virgin Media News report announced on Thursday morning, showing a picture of a hole on Portmarnock beach, in Dublin.

But, as it turns out the “crater” might just have been dug by a couple of lads with plastic kids’ spades over the weekend.

Well, so Twitter suggested.

An Instagram story began circulating on social media following Virgin Media News’ discovery showing a shirtless man in the hole with a green plastic spade, as another gent observed from above. A second spade was visible at the top of the crater.

“Some fellas literally dug it the day before with a kid’s shovel,” one person wrote.

In her report, Hannah Murphy, announced the hole “looks out of this world” and then introduced local astrophysics enthusiast Dave Kennedy who was “stopped in his tracks” when he spotted it and is “certain the small but heavy rock inside it came from up above.”

Dave then proceeds to analyse the rock for Virgin Media News, noted a scorch mark on its side and hypothesising about what “angle it came down at.”

“It is weighty. I’m not sure of its composition, but we’re definitely going to have to find out,” he continued.

Hannah then spoke with a few passerby who were also taken by the hole-drama. One man, visiting from Canada, explained that he doesn’t have “meteorites landing on the beach at my home” and went on to thank Ireland for “a great experience.”

Another onlooker, a woman holding a baby, said she comes to the beach often but had never seen “anything like this before”, noting that the phenomenon is “pretty spectacular.”

Hannah went on to make clear that there has been “no confirmation that this is the site of a meteor strike”, then the report returned to Dave who was pictured sitting on the crater’s edge holding the rock.

He then told Hannah about a NASA documentary he had watched on TV a month ago “on exactly what you’re looking at behind me.”

“So when I looked at it and saw how uniform it is, and the blast crater, I knew immediately, what I was looking at was an impact site.”

Hannah reported that Dave had spent the day reaching out to experts “to see if they can help him solve the mystery of the crater on the beach”, then noted that the next step was having the rock tested.

Several hours later Virgin Media News dispatched a new report announcing that the “meteorite mystery” had been solved, “denting the hopes of a local space enthusiast”.

“Footage emerged last night of two men digging a hole,” a Virgin Media News anchor announced, before explaining how the story unfolded.

She went on to explain that Dave was “disappointed” by the development but still planned to get the rock examined in the hopes it wasn’t a “completely fruitless discovery”.

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