"Golden" ball at the bottom of the ocean: scientists are at a loss to know what it is

By Jurassic JennMar 31, 2024 12:38 PMScience
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"Golden" ball at the bottom of the ocean
''Golden'' ball at the bottom of the ocean. Source: studyfinds.org

More recently, expeditions of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) discovered a mysterious golden ball off the remote coast of Alaska, at a depth of two miles. And this discovery has stumped scientists.

Thus, the SSPDaily website writes: "During the live broadcast of the Seascape Alaska 5 expedition, which was mapping the seafloor topography and studying the characteristics of the deep-sea habitats of the Alaskan coast, researchers operating an underwater robot noticed a shiny "golden" ball with a hole in it. Then they tried to study it."

"Something was trying to get in," one of the observers said during the broadcast, "or out. The group then discussed which side was best to approach to observe the "monster".

"I just hope that when we poke it, something doesn't come out," said one of the scientists. "It looks like the beginning of a horror movie."

When the underwater manipulator reached out to the ball to test its strength, the team found that the object's texture was "like skin." This sparked a lively discussion about the orb's origin. What is it: a unique egg shell, a kind of sponge, or something else unknown to science?

Eventually, the group managed to retrieve the "egg" for laboratory research, but theories about the true nature of the yellow-brown ball (it was the light from the underwater equipment that gave it its golden color) continue to circulate.

For example, deep-sea ecologist from Plymouth University Kerry Howell told The Guardian that discovering new species during research missions is not surprising, but the lack of a category to which they could be assigned is.

"We often see new species, but usually we already know what they are," she said. "What's unusual about this thing is that we're not even sure what it is. Is it an egg, is it a sponge, what is it? The texture of the thing makes us think it's an egg. It's fleshy to the touch, and it has no obvious anatomy. It has a hole in it, which indicates that something went in or out. But it's not like any egg I've ever seen."

And therein lies a deeper mystery. "If it is an egg," she added, "the question is, whose is it? It's quite large, so it must have been left by a very large creature."

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