A mysterious ‘golden’ orb, resembling an egg, has been found resting on the floor of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Alaska, leaving scientists wondering what it is. A research team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration first found the strange golden object on August 30.
The team of explorers found the shiny golden orb when they were exploring an extinct volcano during the Seascape Alaska 5 expedition, at about a depth of two miles. It is over 10 centimeters (4 inches) in diameter and has a small tear near its base.
The NOAA shared a picture of the object on Twitter, and wrote, ”This golden orb, likely an egg casing, struck an imaginative chord for many watching yesterday.”
See the picture here:
This golden orb, likely an egg casing, struck an imaginative chord for many watching yesterday.
Today we dive on Denson Seamount. ROVs are launching & will remain on the seafloor until ~ 3:45pm ADKT/7:45pm EDT.
— NOAA Ocean Exploration (@oceanexplorer) August 31, 2023
“As cameras zoomed in, scientists were stumped as to its identification, with initial thoughts ranging from a dead sponge attachment to coral, to an egg casing,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a statement.
”Invoking almost fairytale-like imagery, the specimen has since been dubbed a ‘golden orb’ and even a ‘golden egg,” the agency added.
It remains unclear if the golden dome is associated with a known species, a new species, or represents an unknown life stage of an existing one, according to Sam Candio, an NOAA Ocean Exploration coordinator.
”While we were able to collect the ‘golden orb’ and bring it onto the ship, we still are not able to identify it beyond the fact that it is biological in origin,” said Mr Candio.
He further explained that they plan to investigate more about the shiny object in a laboratory setting using the ”collective expertise of the scientific community” and ”more sophisticated tools”.
”While somewhat humbling to be stumped by this finding, it serves as a reminder of how little we know about our own planet and how much is left to learn and appreciate about our ocean”, he added.
NOAA is currently on a five-month mission to explore the depths of the sea near Alaska.