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SKEPTOID BLOG:

Baffling Black Ring

by Mike Weaver

April 15, 2014

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I don't know about you, but I love finding the word "baffling" in a headline. It seems that scientists, doctors, or experts are perpetually baffled by some mysterious object, sighting, miracle, cure, or, in this case, a black ring in the sky. Recently, a schoolgirl in Warwickshire, England videotaped a mysterious black ring in the sky. Experts, apparently, are baffled.

I first saw this story published on news.com.au today. The story may have been first broken by SWNS.com out of the UK. The video I viewed can be found on SWNS' YouTube channel, here.


A screen capture of the ring from the video is above.

From the news.com.au article:

Georgina Heap, 16, told the UK Mirror, "It was just floating there like a cloud and then it disappeared. It wasn't birds either. There were about ten of us who stopped what we were doing and watched. It is the weirdest thing I have ever seen."

Amusingly, even though the article's headline states that "experts [are] baffled" , the author closes the article with this observation:

Our guess? It was a transformer blowing up.

Experts may be baffled, but the author seems not so baffled. The folks at Gizmodo wrote about it as well. The article notes:

The most logical explanation is that it's some sort of smoke ring (though who knows where it would come from). Or maybe it's a bunch of bees in a suicidal ritual. Or something out of Rust Cohle's imagination. No one knows.

A little bit of internet searching turns up numerous videos and images of the smoke rings left by electrical transformer explosions; Wicker Park Transformer, Chicago Smoke Ring, Another Explosion Ring

The truth is that we don't really know what the ring was. It is very likely, I think, that it was the ring of a transformer explosion or something very similar. Smoke rings are visible vortex rings which can hold together a surprisingly long time, in calm conditions. The girl's video is a good example of one, I think.

Of course, you could subscribe to the hypothesis put forth by the International Business Times:

On a logical point of view, it has been surmised that it could just be some smoke ring, although it is difficult to trace its origin. Gizmodo website notes that it could perhaps be a bunch of bees in a suicidal ritual, but at the moment, the most likely explanation is it was some kind of a UFO.

It's your choice, my friends.

Update: This article was shared in the comments. It explains that the ring was identified as the results of fireworks testing. Good to know!

Be well.

 

by Mike Weaver

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