Off the coast of Turkey, a group of divers encountered a translucent blob about the size of a car, which felt “very soft” and appeared “gelatinous.”
Diver Lutfu Tanriover, who captured the blob (which he called “the thing”) on video, told the blog Deep Sea News that the group felt both “excitement and fear” as they approached the mysterious mass. Watch the video, below, where they just mosey up to it like it’s no big thing and proceed to poke it. (“Not even wearing gloves!” says one HuffPo commenter, “What makes them so sure the thing is just going to suck them in and digest them! That’s what blobs do!”)
Even after close inspection, the divers say they couldn’t figure out what the blob was. From afar, it looked almost invisible, but up close, they discovered countless little dots floating in the 13-foot sphere..
The internet, of course, has been having a field day trying to identify it, with many wondering if it’s Kraken boogers or whale loogies or maybe aliens’ star map of the galaxy (a la Prometheus). There were dozens of Rush Limbaugh, Rosie O’Donnell, and Chris Christie jokes that mostly fell flat (although someone said it was “too transparent to be Christie” which made me chuckle.)
Said one: “Well, if it’s big, exotic, and rare, then we need to get the dentist, Dr. Walter Palmer, some scuba gear, and a speargun so that he can get down there and kill the darn thing.” Ka-ZING.
Dr. Michael Vecchione, a squid expert and scientist at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, thinks he has a possible answer.
The blob, Vecchione said, was likely an enormous squid egg mass — the “largest” he’s ever seen.
The scientist speculated that a squid called Ommastrephes bartramii (also known as the red flying squid or the neon flying squid) could be responsible for the mass. Red flying squid are a “common species” that can grow to around 5 feet in length, Smithonian.com says.
As for why such squid egg masses are so rarely spotted, Deep Sea News says it might be because of the depth that they’re usually found, and the short duration of time that it takes for the squid babies to hatch.
“These egg masses are likely found much deeper in the ocean and only occasionally drift to shallow water,” the blog notes. “Another factor is time… [In the case of the 2008 mass] the developing squid.. took just three days to hatch. That’s a pretty small window to find such a well-hidden target.”