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Huge translucent sphere found under the sea

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Obsidian
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« on: July 29, 2015, 01:50:15 am »

Huge translucent sphere found under the sea
Posted on Sunday, 26 July, 2015



A diver examines the peculiar bubble-like sphere. Image Credit: Vimeo / Lutfu Tanriover

Divers exploring the ocean depths off the coast of Turkey came across something extremely unusual.
The anomalous bubble-like object, which was situated around 22m below the surface, measured around four meters across and appeared almost invisible to the eye from a distance.

To the touch the 'blob' felt very soft and gelatinous in nature while inside it was filled with what seemed to be thousands of tiny particles as well as a number of other slightly larger objects.

It wasn't until the diving team had posted footage of their discovery online that they eventually learned that what they'd found was actually a 'squid egg mass' - one of the largest ever seen.

It isn't clear what species of squid was responsible for producing an egg mass this large but researchers believe that it may have contained up to two million eggs.



http://www.deepseanews.com/2015/07/car-sized-ball-of-squid-eggs-filmed-off-the-coast-of-turkey/
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Obsidian
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2015, 01:51:12 am »

Car-sized ball of squid eggs filmed off the coast of Turkey

Oh July 9th, 2015 a group of lucky divers happened upon something truly remarkable–A 4-meter-wide clear sphere floating off the coast of a small town in Turkey. The sphere was 22 meters below the sea surface, and even up close, it appears almost invisible. But what exactly is it?

The divers didn’t know. Lutfu Tanriover, the videographer, told me via Facebook the group felt a mixture of both excitement and fear as they approached the mysterious blob. The blow felt “very soft,” and looked gelatinous.  But only after the video went online did the mysterious blob get a possible ID. Dr. Michael Vecchione of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History was the first to propose a suggestion. Dr. Vecchione is an expert on squid, and to him this giant sphere looks like a huge squid egg mass, and it’s the largest he’s ever seen. In fact, egg masses like this may be floating off many major coasts, not just Turkey’s. But what kind of squid, specifically, could produce a mass this big?

Dr. Vecchione best guess? A large red flying squid named Ommastrephes bartramii. These animal can grow to around 1.5 meters (~5 feet) in length. As their name suggests, red flying squid can fly, or rather glide, by jetting out of the water and flattening their tentacles and fins to make “wings”. They’ve also got arms packed with suckers complete with “teeth”.
A red flying squid sucker complete with "teeth." tolweb.org

Top: A large red flying squid, bottom left: an arm with suckers, bottom right: a sucker with teeth tolweb.org

But no one has actually seen a red flying squid lay eggs. Is the red flying squid even capable of producing an egg mass so big?

In all likelihood, yes. Only once has another egg mass this big been reported, and it belonged to one of the largest, most intelligent, and dangerous squid known. The humboldt squid is an oceanic velociraptor. Smart, strong, and agile, these 2-meter-long squid form packs, flashing quickfire communication to each other using specialized color-changing skin. In Spanish, humboldt squid are known as diablo rojo, or red devils. With a powerful parrot-like beak, and sharp teeth on their suckers, these squid have been documented to attack people. Their bite can break bones, and their strength can dislocate limbs. But they have a softer, gentler, squishier side.

In 2008, Danna Staaf and her colleagues documented, for the first time, a humboldt squid egg mass, which they found in the Gulf of California. It is the only egg mass known to rival the one divers found in Turkey. The egg mass Dr. Staaf described was between 3 and 4 meters long, making it the largest ever recorded in the scientific literature. And the number of eggs inside? Oh, between 600 thousand and 2 million–ten times more than any other squid ever recorded (PDF of paper). That’s a lot of baby squid. But if egg masses like these are so huge, and produced by a common species like the humboldt or red flying squid, why aren’t they washing up everywhere?

One possibility has to do with depth. These egg masses are likely found much deeper in the ocean and only occasionally drift to shallow water. Another factor is time. Dr. Staaf and colleagues found that the developing squid in the giant mass took just three days to hatch (PDF of paper). That’s a pretty small window to find such a well-hidden target.

Unlike their parents, newly hatched squid from an egg mass like this are tiny and underdeveloped. Like baby birds, their eyes are not fully formed. Even worse, according to squid expert Dr. Liz Shea of the Delaware Museum of Natural History, their predatory tentacles are fused together in a little clump when they’re born. They may not even be capable of hunting on their own. How they grow into large raptorial predators is a complete mystery. It is possible that, like the giant egg mass itself, these larvae are destined for deeper depths–hiding out of sight until they develop the skills and ability to hunt, and perhaps lay car-sized egg masses of their own.
Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 12.55.06 AM

A diver touching the squid egg mass. Small dots are eggs, while larger structures in the egg mass have not been identified.

 

H/T to Christopher Mah of the echinoblog for sharing the video.

Edit 25 July 2015: An earlier version of this article misstated the nature of squid sucker teeth as being razor-sharp and barb-like. Though capable of scratching human skin, these teeth are not razor sharp and are not barbed.
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Obsidian
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2015, 01:51:36 am »

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Obsidian
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2015, 01:51:54 am »

Top: A large red flying squid, bottom left: an arm with suckers, bottom right: a sucker with teeth tolweb.org
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Obsidian
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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2015, 01:52:32 am »



A diver touching the squid egg mass. Small dots are eggs, while larger structures in the egg mass have not been identified.
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Zodiac
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2015, 02:11:16 am »

Damn, damn, damn, my hopes dashed AGAIN by these tantalizing story titles that turn out to have mundane explanations!! I was hoping it was a wormhole left by some aliens indicating that they have accepted us into their federation of planets and will now give us superpowers and turn the world into a paradise.
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She-ra, Princess of Power
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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2015, 02:13:30 am »

Thank you, this is great!
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Lovecraft
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« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2015, 02:15:03 am »

When I read the title and saw the pic I was expecting something alien or belonging to a sea monster.
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PrisonerX
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« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2015, 02:16:44 am »

More like an egg sac. I wonder if it was colossal or giant squid.
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the Call of Chthulu
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« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2015, 02:18:32 am »

Shoggoth.. :nw:
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