A MASSIVE hole the size of IRELAND has been spotted in the ice near Antarctica, baffling scientists.
Known as the Weddell Polynya, it first opened and closed in the 1970s, then mysteriously reopened again last month.
The strange occurrence has left scientists scratching their heads and unable to explain the odd phenomenon.
Researchers from Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM) say the difficulties of mounting winter expeditions in the region means they are unable to investigate further.
Physicist Kent Moore, from the University of Toronto, told Vice Motherboard the monstrous mysterious hole was "quite remarkable".
"This is hundreds of kilometres from the ice edge. If we didn't have a satellite, we wouldn't know it was there.
"It looks like you just punched a hole in the ice."
The hole was first spotted in the 1970s before closing over for FOUR decades and reopening briefly last year.
Then it closed again, until now, Motherboard reported.
Kent added: "This is now the second year in a row it's opened after 40 years of not being there. We're still trying to figure out what's going on."
At its peak, the Weddell Polynya measured 31,000 square miles. This almost twice the size of the Netherlands and marginally smaller than Ireland.
Despite not knowing why it is opening and closing, scientists hope to use it to learn more about climate change.
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