FunNature & AnimalStrange blue sea creatures spotted

Strange blue sea creatures spotted

The team of scientists that was exploring the bottom of the sea in the Caribbean on August 30 was really surprised when they discovered some strange blue creatures with their bodies covered with a kind of protuberances.

It is not known exactly what these organisms can be that remain motionless on the seabed , between 407 and 611 meters below the surface of the water. Scientists think it could be soft corals, sponges or tunicates.

At the time of the discovery, the scientists were aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research vessel Okeanos Explorer, which has spent the past four months investigating sections of the North Atlantic as part of the “Voyage to the Ridge 2022” from NOAA. From the boat they pilot a remotely operated vehicle, or ROV, so they can see what’s in the depths.

Like all the dives made during these expeditions, the images were broadcast live by NOAA , much to the delight of fans.

During the broadcast, the researchers showed one of these blue creatures in detail and they were heard wondering about what it could be. They pointed out that it could be a soft coral, a sponge, or even a tunicate or urocardo, a marine invertebrate with a gelatinous consistency. They referred to it as “lumpy blue stuff” and “blue goo” .

The members of the expedition could only agree on what the mysterious creature was not. “I can say it’s not a rock, but that’s as far as I can go,” one researcher joked.

Other noteworthy sightings from the dive include a green-eyed fish ( Chlorophthalmidae ), hatchetfish ( Sternoptychidae ), bearded fish ( Polymixia ), glass sponge ( Hexactinellida ), bamboo coral ( Isididae ), fossilized coral reef and a fair number of rarely observed sea urchins, according to NOAA.

The team now faces a lengthy process to try to identify the blue creature. In the live stream, the researchers said they would send images and videos of the dive to coral and sponge experts to see if they can identify the blue creature.

This is no easy task, as there are some 2,000 species of soft corals , according to the World Register of Marine Species; some 8,500 species of sponges, according to NOAA; and about 3,000 species of tunicates, according to the Smithsonian Ocean Institute.

If experts are unable to identify the species, “the mystery will remain until a sample can be collected,” the scientists said.

The team believes that this mysterious creature is the perfect example of what makes these expeditions so fun and important, both for viewers and scientists. “There’s always at least one thing that blows your mind,” said one researcher.

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