Ocean explorers found a golden orb on the Alaskan seafloor, and they have no idea what it is – DNyuz

Ocean explorers found a golden orb on the Alaskan seafloor, and they have no idea what it is

Earth’s oceans are vast and mysterious, and scientists have yet to describe roughly 91% of its species. Deep-sea divers found something completely new on an Alaskan expedition.

But this particular object, what looks like the remains of some type of golden orb or egg, surprised scientists. “I don’t know what to make of that,” said a researcher during a live stream of the expedition.

The mysterious object that resembles a reject from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory was discovered on August 30 as part of the Seascape Alaska 5 expedition that’s using a remotely operated vehicle to map to currently map the Alaska seafloor. The team that found it is with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ocean Exploration.

Usually, researchers can at least guess how an unknown specimen fits in with other species just by looking at it, Sam Candio, the expedition’s coordinator, told Insider via email.

But they were completely baffled by the orb. “With this sample, we need that further lab analysis to even begin placing it into any kind of biological group,” he said.

An egg casing, a sponge, or something more strange

Using a remotely-operated vehicle 2 miles under the ocean, the researchers were cruising around the Kodiak-Bowie Seamount chain of extinct volcanoes when they saw the orb, Candio said. He said, “We stumbled upon it.”

“This depth zone has very few data on the species living there, especially in the Gulf of Alaska. We were hoping to find something new and interesting,” Candio explained.

Team members joked that the orb looked like something out of a horror movie. The orb may be a sponge or eggcase, but Candio doesn’t rule out the possibility of “something even stranger.”

The robotic arm on the remote vehicle uses a vacuum device to pick up the egg-like squishy tissue.

“To touch, the orb is fragile and flaky. “The center is a concave dome shape and firmer than the edges.”

Researchers will need to perform tests — including DNA, dissection, and microscopy, Candio said — before they can determine what species the fleshy orb belongs to.

“The less information we had about the orb after visual examination and sample collection, the more we were intrigued by it.

Moving around the seafloor as deep as 3. 7 miles below the surface, the vehicle has come across something unique or unexpected on every dive, Candio said.

“”The wonder and diversity of the water surrounding Alaska have been nothing less than breathtaking.” he said.

You can watch the live stream from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET through September 15 to see other interesting marine life, from carnivorous sponges to octopuses guarding their eggs.

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