"Some fellas literally dug it the day before with a kid’s shovel."
Irish TV station Virgin Media News broadcasted a news segment on Wednesday about a "mysterious crater" at a local beach north of Dublin, which it said could be evidence of a meteorite violently impacting with the sand in a "once-in-a-lifetime cosmic event."
The smoking gun: a mysteriously charred rock in the middle of the almost perfectly circular hole.
The station even got "local astrophysics buff" Dave Kennedy to comment on the matter.
"Only about a month ago I was watching a documentary from NASA on exactly what you’re looking at behind you, and so when I looked at it and saw how uniform it is," he told the station. "I knew immediately what I was looking at was an impact site."
But as it turns out, the almost perfectly round hole was dug out by some enterprising locals, who even documented their digging escapade on social media — a great reminder that sometimes it's best to take local TV reporting with a hefty grain of salt, or perhaps sand in this case.
🚨 Meteorite mystery solved! 🚨
The mystery of the hole on a north Dublin beach has apparently been solved - denting the hopes of a local space enthusiast, who had hoped it was the site of a meteor strike.#VMNews pic.twitter.com/zhqKbhzvNY
— Virgin Media News (@VirginMediaNews) September 14, 2023
Locals, naturally, guffawed at the outlandish theory.
"Lads I’m in bits," one local tweeted. "Virgin Media news is after reporting on a hole on Portmarnock beach that 'could be the aftermath of a cosmic event.'"
"Some fellas literally dug it the day before with a kid’s shovel," they added. "The way your man was talking about the rock being an asteroid had me in tears."
Dublin locals Charlie Wallace and his mate Peter McEvoy were likely responsible for the hole. Footage shared on Instagram shows the lads digging away with some plastic shovels.
"Will the Irish suffer the same fate as the dinosaurs?" reads the caption of Irish comedian Garron Noone's TikTok on the matter. "I think it's fair to say we're not exactly at the cutting edge of astrophysics in Ireland."
In their defense, Virgin Media News later shared footage of Wallace and McEvoy digging.
"Meteorite mystery solved!" the outlet tweeted.
Meanwhile, Kennedy, while "disappointed," hasn't given up hope and is still trying to "get the rock analyzed," per the outlet.
More on meteorites: Woman Reportedly Struck by Meteorite While Drinking Coffee
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