"Something tried to get in... or to get out."
If you had "scientists discover spooky golden egg at the site of an ancient underwater volcano" on your 2023 bingo card, boy are you in luck.
On Wednesday, as The Miami Herald reports, a team of National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) scientists came across something deeply unusual while exploring an underwater volcano deep off the coast of Alaska: a mysterious golden object.
Found nestled into the side of the undersea structure roughly two miles beneath the Pacific ocean's surface, the strange orb-like discovery has puzzled the ocean researchers, who are currently mapping the Alaskan seafloor via remote-operated vehicle as part of the administration's latest Seascape Alaska mission. (The discovery was actually made live, as NOAA's live-streaming the mission.) And while coming across a spooky egg at the foot of an ancient volcano is eerie enough on its own, the researchers were reportedly extra shocked to discover that the mysterious orb had a torn hole in it — as if something had burrowed its way through.
"Something tried to get in... or to get out," one researcher observed during the live feed, according to the Herald. Zoinks!
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
Per the Herald, after cracking a few X-Files jokes, the researchers ultimately decided that they would need to use one of the robotic vehicle's robotic arms to collect a sample and run a DNA test in order to confirm the apparent egg's origin.
"I just hope when we poke it, something doesn't decide to come out," one of the scientists reportedly commented as the team fired up the robotic arm. "It's like the beginning of a horror movie."
But to the scientists' apparent relief, nothing ended up wriggling out of the egg. Which, when "tickled" by the robot's hand, turned out to be quite delicate — less like gelatin, and more like silk. The orb was then suctioned up through a tube and, according to the Herald, will soon undergo closer lab inspection.
According to the paper, the researchers did have a few — and less sci-fi-like — guesses as to what the orb could be, a list that included some kind of leftover egg casing or the remnants of a dead sea sponge. Still, by all accounts, they seem to be pretty stumped. (Just a thought: have they considered asking Sam Altman about it?)
"When our collective knowledge can’t identify it, it's something weird," said one team member, per the Herald report. "What kind of an animal would make an egg casing like that?"
More on undersea discoveries: Scientists Intrigued by "Gravity Hole" At Bottom of Ocean
Share This Article