Mystery of the "snake" detected by weather radar off Australia's west coast solved
The S-shaped formation had a logical explanation, it was revealed today
A strange, S-shaped object, which appeared on a Bureau of Meteorology radar map off the west coast of Australia on Wednesday afternoon, left meteorologists baffled and set the rumour mill churning.
The snake-like formation, located about 18 miles off the coast, was dubbed the “Rott Nest Monster” across social networking sites, as users wondered about its origin.
On Twitter, @harbinger451 tweeted: “A flying snake heads towards Perth.”
And @David_Coombe said: “BOM radar produces many anomalies, though the #rottnestmonster is fun.”
In an interview with the ABC, meteorologist Neil Bennett said the phenomenon could not have been a cloud. “They don’t take on S shapes and things like that,” he said.
“The radar that we use are there for the detection of precipitation, it's basically just a beam going out and hitting the rain droplets or ice particles from hail.
"Sometimes the beam itself rather than going straight it gets bent back to earth and you start to pick up reflections from the ocean, rather than rain droplets," he added.
But the Department of Defence today confirmed that the enigmatic snake was in fact caused by a military exercise.
A spokesman for the Department of Defence told ABC News that the exercise was a regular training activity involving ships and aircraft designed to prepare a Navy warship for an operational deployment.
"The environmental conditions over the West Australian coast at the time of the activity provided a unique opportunity for this routine activity to be visible on the weather radar display," he said.
"This exercise is ongoing."
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...