A mysterious golden orb was found at the bottom of the ocean off of Alaska’s coastline — and it has scientists puzzled.
The strange object was spotted about 3.2 kilometers (about 3,280 feet) deep in the Pacific Ocean on Aug. 30, according to SWNS.
Researchers reportedly stumbled upon the odd item while utilizing a remotely operated vehicle in the area and the item was ultimately recovered and taken to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Ship Okeanos Explorer, NOAA’s Emily Crum explained.
On Tuesday, Crum said the expedition coordinator on the ship confirmed to her that “the orb remains a mystery.”
Members of the Seascape Alaska 5 expedition crew attempted to identify the item while zooming in on it with their camera, according to footage from the discovery.
One researcher pointed out that it “seems spongy” while another said it looked “like the beginning of a horror movie.”
“I’m pretty sure this is how the first episode of The X-Files started,” quipped one researcher.
Researchers said the item also seemed to have a “skin-like” texture, according to The Guardian.
The team obtained the object using a special collection pipe, per SWNS.
The mystery item must be taken “into a full lab setting” after the expedition ends on Sept. 16 in order to learn more about what it is, Crum said.
Sam Candio, who is coordinating the current NOAA Ocean Exploration expedition, told The Washington Post that mysterious finds like this could possibly have societal benefits — including medical therapies, food, energy, and more — once experts can figure out what it is.
“While somewhat humbling to be stumped by this finding, it serves as a reminder of how little we know about our own planet and how much is left to learn and appreciate about our ocean,” Candio said.