During a deep-sea expedition in the Gulf of Alaska, scientists from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) were surprised by a singular apparition.
At a depth of about 3,300 meters, aboard the submarine, the team of researchers spotted what some crew members called a “yellow cap”. On a rocky outcrop and among clumps of seaweed, the cameras spotted a golden sphere-shaped object, about 10 centimeters in diameter, attached to the rocks.
The organic-looking object had a kind of tear at its base, created by something that wanted to get out or was trying to get in, which allowed the underwater team to verify that there was gold inside as well. Scientists could not identify the strange golden dome, and several possibilities were put forward: the remains of a sea sponge, a piece of coral or the egg casing of some marine species, the latter hypothesis being the most likely.
The researchers explain that the golden glow emanating from the object is the result of the reflection of light from the submersible. When they brought it to the research vessel, they noticed that it was brown in color.
Sam Candio, coordinator of the NOAA expedition to the Gulf of Alaska, said in a statement that although the material had been collected and brought to the surface, “it has not yet been identified and is of biological origin.” And he points out that this mysterious discovery can only be discovered through laboratory research work.
The discovery “reminds us how little we know about our own planet and how much we still have to learn and appreciate about our ocean,” the official says.
“Isn’t the bottom of the sea very strange?” Candio asks.
Many unanswered questions arise about this ‘Golden Orb’, as it is still unknown whether it is related to an already known species or a new species. This, the researchers suggest, may be a clue to the animal’s developmental stage, such as eggs. Or maybe even a piece of skin from some sea creature.
Be that as it may, “new species have the potential to reveal new sources of medical treatments and vaccines, food, energy, and other benefits to societies and knowledge,” Candio believes.
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