Scientists continue trying to figure out what it is the mysterious golden “egg” found on August 30 at the bottom of the ocean in the Gulf of Alaska. It is currently preserved in ethanol aboard the research vessel Okeanos Explorer. Once the researchers finish mapping the region, they will send the samples to the Smithsonian, expedition coordinator Sam Candino told the magazine. Live Science. Although there is one detail that researchers have been able to determine: the orb is of biological origin.
The discovery occurred about 3,200 meters deep on the side of an extinct underwater volcano during the expedition Seascape Alaska from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
There will be no ROV dive today as #Okeanos It is in transit, but we plan to be back in the water this weekend. Meanwhile, peruse photos and video of the moment we came across this unidentified gold specimen: https://t.co/mKcs7ziGJq#seascapealaska #explore #ocean #Alaska #Okeanos pic.twitter.com/YN5I9uuB85
— NOAA Ocean Exploration (@oceanexplorer) September 8, 2023
“The golden sphere, probably the shell of an egg, excited the imagination of many observers,” NOAA said in a message on the social network X (formerly Twitter).
It could be an egg, but also a sponge
As scientists study the object’s deoxyribonucleic acid, observers following the exploration online have joked that it could be an alien egg or a chocolate candy wrapper.
The mysteries of the dark ocean
It is still unclear why the orb is gold. “As natural light does not penetrate to these depths, it is often difficult to determine why certain colors emerge. It could have something to do with the chemical composition, it could be a happy accident, or it could be a fashion statement,” says coordinator Candino.
The discovery highlights the diversity of life in the depths of the world’s oceanswhich remains unknown, and the importance of scientific exploration.