Is it an egg, part of a sponge, or something else entirely? Those were the questions experts asked on August 30, 2023 when the remote survey vehicle Okeanos Explorer came across something unusual: a gold-colored spherical object. The find was located about 2-miles deep in the Gulf of Alaska, and scientists couldn’t identify it, according to a press release from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). The Seascape Alaska 5: Gulf of Alaska Remotely Operated Vehicle Exploration and Mapping expedition made the discovery, exploring depths of up to 4 miles, and once spotted, the so-called golden orb was carefully suctioned up a tube and brought to the surface for closer inspection, The Guardian reported.
Affirmed to likely be of biological origin, theories as to what the “yellow hat” might be include an entirely new species, or a life stage of a known species science was unaware of. It measured about 4 inches in diameter, was stuck firmly in place, and once in the lab, the object appeared to be a yellowish-brown color. It was reportedly flesh-like in texture, and there was a hole in the object like a creature had escaped or tried to crack it open like an egg. In the early going, though, the golden orb otherwise had science stumped. One expert told The Guardian, “I just hope when we poke it, something doesn’t decide to come out. It’s like the beginning of a horror movie.”