A group of divers were exploring a WWII shipwreck just off the coast of Orsta in Norway earlier this month, when they made an incredible discovery.
The divers, from Research Expedition Vessel (REV) Ocean, were baffled when they first spotted a mysterious blob floating 17 metres below the surface of the sea.
On closer inspection, the blob – discovered by Ronald Raasch, Nils Baadnes and their research group – turned out to be a 10-armed squid egg’s sac, containing thousands of baby squid.
You can watch a video of their incredible discovery here:
The transparent ball was found floating in the darkness of the fjord on October 5, and two days later REV Ocean took to Twitter to reveal its incredible discovery.
REV Ocean wrote:
Mystery solved! REV Ocean captain Nils Baadnes & Ronald Raasch discovered this giant gel ball while diving in Orstafjord Norway, which is actually an eggmass of 10-armed squid.
The sacs don’t tend to be seen by humans because they’re usually laid deep beneath the sea. They then continue to sink lower and lower until reaching a depth of around 150 metres, where the baby squid hatch.
At this moment in time, it’s unknown which species of squid produced the Orstafjorden mass. Although REV Ocean mentioned it being a 10-armed squid, all species of squid have 10 arms, so it gives no indication as to which it could be. It’s also believed to be very difficult to identify a marine species based solely on its eggs.
Incredible footage taken by the Norwegian divers shows the research team inspecting the sac, which could easily be mistake for an alien being having invaded the water.
Divers off the coast of Turkey discovered a similar blob in 2015, which was only the ‘third or fourth’ recorded instance of such a mass being observed in the wild, as National Geographic reports. Sightings are particularly rare as the sacs are usually too far offshore and too deep for divers to see.
These egg sacs also only last for a few days before the squid babies hatch and the gelatinous mass disintegrates.
Scientists believe that one of two species of squid laid the giant mass of eggs – either the European flying squid, or a much smaller Boreoatlantic armhook squid. Both of the creatures vary in size from 25cm to 35cm.
Now there’s something you don’t expect to see every day.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.