A mysterious golden ball has been discovered at the bottom of the ocean off the Pacific coast of Alaska, sparking debate among the scientific community about what it could be. The object, smooth with a hole in the center, was found at a depth of about 3 kilometers by a remote-controlled submarine, and according to researchers from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa), who made this discovery, it could be an egg. Hatchling or sea sponge.
Researchers are conducting tests and DNA analysis to understand what the shiny object is, which according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) appears to be made of “skin tissue.” A remote-controlled arm was used to “tickle” the egg, which was found to have a thin, “skin-like” texture. It was then gently “deflated” for examination in the laboratory.
The dive is part of the Seascape Alaska 5 expedition, which will run until September 15 and can be followed via live stream as they explore the Gulf of Alaska. In a live talk on August 30, when the discovery was made, team members proposed theories about the identity of the object, including whether it was an egg shell or a sponge. They suggested that the hole was created by a creature hatching or by a predator.
In photographs taken during the dive, the object had a golden appearance, but this has been attributed to the reflection of the submarine’s headlights: a photo of the object taken in the laboratory indicates a yellowish-brown color instead. Many species, including deep-sea fish such as sharks, lay their eggs on the sea floor, making them less likely to be washed away by ocean currents.
“Infuriatingly humble social media buff. Twitter advocate. Writer. Internet nerd.”