Carib - Mysterious ‘blue goo’ creature spotted in the Caribbean
Ocean scientists have spotted a mysterious “blue goo” creature on the sea floor in the Caribbean.
The “unknown blue organism” was found in the course of a dive southwest of St. Croix, one of the US Virgin Islands in the Caribbean.
Team members expressed their views on what the blue creature could be in a livestream video of the expedition taken by the ROV piloted onboard the NOAA’s research vessel, called the Okeanos Explorer.
The research vessel has so far spent about four months assessing parts of the North Atlantic as part of the NOAA’s Voyage to the Ridge 2022 exploration series.
“Scientists think it may be a soft coral, sponge, or tunicate... but at the moment, it remains a mystery,” the NOAA noted in a statement.
Tunicates are gelatinous marine invertebrates, also known as sea squirts, and often found attached to rocks, or the undersides of boats.
“I think that is one of the most exciting things about the Okeanos Explorerexpeditions. There is always at least that one thing that stumps you. I think it would be great to figure out what this bumpy blue thing is,” one researcher said, adding that it is “definitely not a rock.”
Scientists spotted the strange “blue goo” – as they jokingly called them – sitting motionless on the ocean floor at about 407-611m (1,335-2,005ft) underwater several times over the course of the dive.
In the expedition, scientists also spotted sea urchins, a fossilised coral reef, a beardfish (Polymixia), a goosefish – which is a type of anglerfish – a glass sponge, and a stingray among other creatures.
Researchers said they would send images and videos from the dive to Caribbean coral and sponge experts to get help to identify the strange blue blob.
If they are unable to identify the creature based on the images and videos, scientists said “the mystery will remain until a sample can be collected.”