A "Dragon ball" like object has been spotted on a Japanese beach

Japanese media have been electrified by a strange metal object that has washed up on a Japanese beach. But what is it?
Christopher McFadden
Metal sphere
Metal sphere


As reported by sources like the Guardian, a large iron ball that washed up on a local beach has perplexed police and residents in a Japanese coastal town. At the time of writing, local authorities admit they have no idea what it is—only that it isn't about to explode.

According to local media reports, the 4.92-foot (1.5-meter) diameter sphere has been the subject of feverish speculation since it washed up on Enshu beach in Hamamatsu, Japan's Pacific coast.

A "Dragon ball" like object has been spotted on a Japanese beach
Metal sphere

At first look, the object does appear to be an unexploded sea mine. Still, Fears that it was a stray mine were dispelled after experts examined the object's interior with X-ray technology and discovered it was hollow.

There is also no evidence that it was involved in espionage by nearby North Korea or China.

The presence of two raised handles on the sphere's surface, indicating that it can be hooked up to something else, led to the more mundane explanation that it is most likely a mooring buoy that had worked loose and floated away.

According to Asahi TV, police began inspecting the ball, which is orangey-brown with darker patches of rust, after a local woman spotted it resting on the sand just meters from the shore while out for a walk earlier this week.

Officers cordoned off the area and called explosives experts dressed in protective gear to investigate further. However, according to reports, authorities are still unsure what the sphere is or where it originated.

Photographs have been sent to Japan's self-defense forces and coast guard for review.

One local who regularly runs on the beach was perplexed why the ball suddenly became the center of attention. "It's been there for a month," he told NHK, Japan's public broadcaster. "I pushed it, but it wouldn't budge."

At one point, police cordoned off a 656-foot (200-meter) radius around the ball while experts attempted, but failed, to solve the mystery.

Some have compared it to an object from the popular manga series "Dragon Ball," while others suggested it could be a UFO that had fallen from the sky.

TV footage of the object sparked social media speculation just days after Japan said it "strongly suspected" several Chinese spy balloons had been spotted over its territory in recent years.

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