Imagine swimming through the ocean and finding you facing a one-meter-wide (3-foot) ball of miscellaneous goo. Divers in the Northeast Atlantic have been experiencing this since 1985 – but despite 90 reports, the origin and purpose of this alien ocean remains a mystery.
For a yearlong study backed by civic scientists published in scientific reports, researchers have proven that guinea fowl acts as a pouch for thousands of eggs from the common squid species Illex coindetii. The study reviewed 90 reports of blisters that occurred between 1985 and 2019, but it was not recently that tissue samples obtained that could use for DNA analysis. The results showed that Alex coindetii was the architect behind the giant blobs, more than 50 percent of which observed by a dark line that flowed through the center of the blob.
The study authors are unclear what these texts represent, but the advice includes impersonating innocent male ink in egg bags or large fish to impersonate a lot of force from predators. Interestingly, samples of several thousand eggs had embryos at different stages of development scattered throughout the room, but if there are limited samples, it is difficult to give a clear statement about the full inhabitants of the jelly ball.
“Without tissue samples from each record for DNA synthesis, we cannot be sure that all spherical ovaries are camouflaged, or that the remaining 86 observations belong to Illex coindetii,” the author wrote in the paper. “However, due to the similar size and shape of these fields compared to the four fields with DNA analysis, we suspect that many of them were created by coindetii.”
While these scenes certainly left a lasting impression on witnesses, their rarity has made it difficult to pin the source. After reports turned it into a Norwegian press, scientists developed a theory that they could be the size of some kind of Ommastrephid egg, but they needed samples to confirm it. To get them, the researchers enlisted the help of civil scientists in the research paper and asked if anyone who touched this kind of jelly ball would try to collect a sample for DNA analysis. They were finally able to test on four samples taken from different jelly balls, the removal of which had no observed effect on the overall egg filling.
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