Friday, September 8, 2023

Science puzzled by 'golden orb' on ocean floor

 Scientists are baffled by a baffling "golden orb" or "golden egg" discovered on the ocean floor and capturing the public's imagination.

It's easy to forget that there is still so much we don't know about the ocean, even as missions to different parts of the solar system are sent out by international space agencies. We are reminded that the oceans of the world still hold many unsolved mysteries by a smooth golden orb discovered on the seafloor in Alaska.

Personnel on the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) ship Okeanos Explorer discovered the intriguing object on August 30, 2023. They discovered what was initially referred to as a "yellow hat" as the ship glided over a rocky outcrop approximately 3,300 meters below sea level.

The smooth, gold, vault formed sphere estimates around 10 centimeters in measurement and was found adhering firmly to a stone in the midst of a sprinkling of white wipes. Near its base, the object has a small hole or tear that reveals a similarly colored interior. Sea life researchers conceded they couldn't recognize the item as they zoomed in with cameras. It could be an unidentified marine animal's egg casing or even a dead coral or sponge attachment.

According to the Washington Post, the team "ticked" the egg when it was discovered with a remote vehicle. From that point forward, they utilized a delicate pull machine to eliminate the egg from the stone to concentrate on it better.

"Isn't the remote ocean so magnificently peculiar? Although we were able to bring the "golden orb" aboard the ship and collect it, we are still unable to identify it beyond its biological origin. Sam Candio, coordinator of the expedition that found the golden orb, stated, "We probably won't learn more until we are able to get it into a laboratory setting where we can continue to pull from the collective expertise of the scientific community with more sophisticated tools than we are able to maintain on the ship."

Numerous species, including fish like sharks, lay their egg cases on the ocean bottom, as per The Watchman. This makes them more averse to be washed away by sea flows. DNA researchers may be able to identify the orb's family of marine life, but they may not be able to identify the specific species. Because only a small amount of marine life has been sequenced, this is the case.

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