Purple Blob
This unidentified purple orb stumped scientists onboard the Nautilus. After sampling, it began to unfold to reveal two distinct lobes. This could possibly be a new species of nudibranch. YouTube/EVNautilus

Researchers with the Ocean Exploration Trust are scratching their heads after Exploration Vessel Nautilus unearthed a purple-coloured orb underwater in the Channel Islands off the coast of California. The experts initially thought it was a shy little octopus but when the camera zoomed in the researchers speculated it could be a new species of nudibranch or soft-bodied marine mollusc.

The main objective of the research vessel’s Channel Islands mission is to study deep sea corals. However, this weird purple orb attracted the researchers’ attention. Ocean Exploration Trust uploaded a video that also includes the scientists making real-time observations as the camera captures the orb. They called it “purple blob” but are not sure what it really is.

Watch Mysterious Purple Orb | Nautilus Live here.

Source: YouTube/EVNautilus

The researchers first think of scientific names as possibility but soon decide to suck it up using a tube for a closer look. They also feel that the purple blob could also be some sort of an embryo or egg sac. A crab near the orb tries to poke it with its leg. However, Nautilus is quick to grab it using a remote-controlled suction tube, writes CNET.

“This unidentified purple orb stumped our scientists onboard. After sampling, it began to unfold to reveal two distinct lobes. This could possibly be a new species of nudibranch,” writes Nautilus Live website.

Nudibranchs are a group of marine gastropod molluscs that are soft-bodied and they shed their shells after their larval stage. They are admired for their extraordinary colours and striking shades appearing in bright shades of pink, orange and blue. Currently, there are about 2,300 known nudibranch species.

However, the scientists are still not sure whether this newly-discovered purple blob is a nudibranch or not and may take several years for scientists to ascertain if the organism is a new species.