Eye of Sauron? First Black Hole Picture Sparks Comparisons With 'Lord of the Rings' Villain

The release of the first image of a black hole prompted a comparison to the popular Lord of the Rings film series, including by one of the co-discoverers.

Jessica Dempsey, a co-discoverer and deputy director of the East Asian Observatory in Hawaii, told the Associated Press the image of the black hole reminded her of the Eye of Sauron. Some users may have initially seen Sauron pop up on their Twitter feed and thought people were misspelling "Saturn," or that it was just a piece of space lingo they weren't versed on.

However, those immersed in the world of Frodo Baggins, Gollum and Gandalf understood the comparison. In The Lord of the Rings, the Eye of Sauron is a ball of energy that sits on top of Barad-dur. It was a symbol of Sauron, who created the One Ring, and few were believed to be able to survive its gaze.

eye of sauron black hole lord of the rings
An 'Eye of Sauron' is carved into a fallen tree at Moseley Bog, believed to be the inspiration for Tolkien's ancient forests in his books The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit on January 03 in Birmingham, England. Many related the first image of a black hole to the Eye of Sauron after the image was released on Wednesday. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

After the image made the rounds on social media, Twitter users also picked up on the similarity vocalized by Dempsey and began posting their own comments.

"I've watched The Lord of the Rings enough times to recognize the Eye of Sauron when I see it," Twitter user Rachael Conrad posted.

Others jokingly pointed out that the Eye of Sauron was staring back at Earth and one user wrote that it was "good to know" that the black hole was the Eye of Sauron.

Terrifying? We look into space and find the Eye of Sauron staring back at us! https://t.co/cISZXmIdGe

— Andrew Girdwood (@AndrewGirdwood) April 10, 2019

Oh cool the eye of Sauron is out there in space, just staring at us. No biggie. https://t.co/bmdGgG99US

— Matthew Doyle (@MattDoyle76) April 10, 2019

So a black hole is the Eye of Sauron? Good to know. https://t.co/DaIq9HXgcb

— Christopher J. Scalia (@cjscalia) April 10, 2019

One user, The Majestic Klutz, commented on another user's tweet that the black hole looked like the Eye of Sauron and that it confirmed space is Lord of the Rings. She added that "Space Hobbits are our new frontier."

Twitter uses Ashely Ross acknowledged that the first image of a black hole marked an "amazing day" in space history. However, she also noted that Wednesday was the day scientists discovered where Mordor and Sauron's Eye were located.

Today marks an amazing day in space history: the first image of a #BlackHole

Scientists have also discovered where Morder and Sauron's eye are located. pic.twitter.com/GZtIyGsdMn

— Ashley Stegelmeier (@ashanneross) April 10, 2019

Ben White, POLITICO's chief economic correspondent, posted on Twitter that the Eye of Sauron returned to Mordor and put out a call to "assemble the fellowship."

The Eye of Sauron has returned to Mordor. Assemble the fellowship. https://t.co/grSe0xVjgt

— Ben White (@morningmoneyben) April 10, 2019

The black hole image was captured by EHT telescopes and NASA posted on Twitter that "history is being made!" Just in case people needed a refresher course on black holes, NASA explained that it's a place where a large amount of mass fits into a tiny space. NASA added that "gravity is so strong that not even light can escape from a black hole."

Dempsey said the image was taken over four days and astronomers needed perfect weather all across the world to capture it. She added that it helps confirm Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity.