A mysterious purple orb sucked off the sea bed during a live-streamed Nautilus exploration has stumped scientists, and naturally the internet too.
Inquisitive viewers of the YouTube video have made multiple guesses as to its origins, ranging from an ‘alien egg’ to a brand new species of Pokemon.
In fact it is more likely the bright orb, found by the Channel Islands of California, is a type of marine mollusc.
At least that is the current view of scientists who in all honesty are not completely sure, and it could take several years before they find out.
In the video a team of researchers with the Ocean Exploration Trust are seen scouring the seabed with the floating laboratory Nautilus.
‘Can we have a look at that dark purple blob on the left there,’ says a female member of the team.
Zooming in the camera picks up the bizarre glowing orb hanging from a rock shelf.
One scientist says ‘Ooh what is that?’ Another responds: ‘I actually have no idea.’
The globe, which looks like a squidgy stress ball, also attracts the attention of a curious crab.
The red crustacean crawls over and strokes the orb, which also has a soft red centre.
Operating the machine the researchers decide the take the specimen in for a closer examination, deciding upon suction as the most appropriate method.
Controlling a robotic hoover, notably wrapped up with duct tape, they move closer.
After some minor adjustments they successfully suck the sphere into the laboratory before the footage cuts out.
Underneath the footage viewers have eagerly begun posting their thoughts on what it could be.
One wrote: ‘Is it an alien egg?’
And along a similar line another posted: ‘They didn’t tell us because it was aliens.’
While one user wrote: ‘My dog’s chew toy! We lost it at the beach some time ago! My dog says she’d like it returned please…. just throw it, she said.’
Multiple viewers have also joked that it could be a Pokemon, one suggesting: ‘These Pokemon Go locations are getting ridiculous.’
Currently the best rational guess is that it ‘could possibly be a new species of nudibranch,’ according to the Nautilus Live website.
‘This unidentified purple orb stumped our scientists on-board. After sampling, it began to unfold to reveal two distinct lobes,’ it added on the page.
A nudibranch is a mollusc that has a soft body and is noted for its amazing range of colours and forms. There are over 2,000 species currently known to man.
Yet on their YouTube channel the researchers wrote: ‘We won’t know definitively what it is for a while. It could possibly take years for scientists to determine if it’s a new species.
‘Our team preserved the sampled specimen and it will be sent off to a lab for further investigation.’
In response to troll comments about the team who operated Nautilus they added: ‘Each team in our ship’s rotation have different missions and goals, and most definitely have different personalities.
‘We love that these personalities shine through in our videos! With the right attitude, anyone can be a scientist!’