Astronomers recently claim that there is evidence for a 9th planet. As far as I understood it, this is mainly based on coinciding orbital parameters of a few Kuiper belt objects.
Could the 9th planet be a virtual planet? I mean this in the sense that we see the gravitational influence of a multi-body system. Could the 9th planet simply be the barycenter of the Kuiper belt and its apparent orbit some form of precession?
Apart from the question, if this was a possible or likely scenario, how could we distinguish a "real" 9th planet from a virtual one, except by the obvious answer if we can observe it directly?
Forgive me, if this is a stupid or trivial question or if this was answered before. I am not a professional astronomer, yet I have a physics/engineering background. I did a quick internet search to answer this question but I simply may have used the wrong terms or sources.