My cat did a thing
You know that thing where your cat does something that makes a noise but you weren’t looking, and you’re like, what was that? So you look, and your cat is standing quietly in the middle of the floor, and there’s no sign of what they did. So you say, “What did you just do?” And the cat doesn’t answer because it’s a cat.
So, you’re left with a quandary. You could let it go, and it would vanish into the ether, a bit of unknown ephemera the true nature of which you will never know. Or, you walk over to where it was and if you’re really clever, you can reconstruct what it did.
But, you can’t be sure when you start that you’ll succeed. Maybe you’ll figure it out. Maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll think you figured it out and you’ll be wrong. And all the time the cat is just sitting there, washing itself.
I think that’s maybe a good metaphor for science.