An "astronomy enthusiast" encountered a mysterious hole on Portmarnock Beach in County Dublin, Ireland, earlier this week. Notwithstanding the countless footprints along the shoreline and various other signs of human activity, Dave Kennedy figured it for the work of a meteor strike.
Ireland's national independent news service soon reported on the seeming scientific discovery, leaving experts debating over the hole's celestial origins and the two men responsible laughing to high heaven.
In her report for Virgin Media News, on-screen talent Hannah Murphy said, "It's a huge mysterious crater that looks out of this world."
The reporter indicated that passersby had begun taking selfies with the pit, "many hoping that what they're witnessing is the aftermath of a once-in-a-lifetime cosmic event."
One observer told the news station, "Never seen anything like this before. ... It's pretty spectacular."
Kennedy found a rock in the pit he believed was the meteorite responsible. Exhibiting it for the benefit of Murphy's viewers, he noted, "As you can tell by here, there's a scorch mark on this side here, so that would have been at the angle it came down on. And it is weighty. I'm not sure of its composition, but we're definitely going to have to find out."
While Murphy indicated there had not yet been any confirmation that the hole was the site of meteor strike, the astronomy enthusiast appeared sure.
"Only about a month ago I was watching a documentary from NASA on exactly what you're looking at behind you," said Kennedy. "So when I looked at it and saw how uniform it is and the blast crater, I knew immediately I was looking at was an impact site."
The forces of nature responsible for the pit turned out to be a pair of Irishmen.
Charlie Wallace, one of the apparent diggers, posted a video to Instagram, which has since gone viral on other platforms, showing him and his friend digging the hole Saturday with the aid of children's plastic spades.
After the video went viral, Virgin Media News provided an update Thursday, revealing that the "once-in-a-lifetime" event had in fact been the aftermath of a beach outing.
Kennedy told the station he was disappointed but would nevertheless go through with getting the beach rock he found in the pit "analyzed in the hopes that it wasn't a completely fruitless discovery."
As of 2022, 52% of the Irish indicated they trust the news overall and 65% indicated they trusted Virgin Media News, according to the Reuters Institute.
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