SCIENTISTS believe the mysterious golden object removed from the bottom of the ocean could belong to a new, undiscovered species.
At first glance, it looks like it could be a pyrite nodule beneath some sea gunk – and researchers have had their own theories.
Marine researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) say the shiny object – found two miles deep in the Gulf of Alaska – is soft to touch, like skin tissue.
It could be egg casing or the remains of a sea sponge, according to the researchers.
However, the alien-like object is still undergoing DNA testing.
Dr Tammy Horton at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton couldn't say what the mystery object is but told the Mail Online it's "potentially a new species".
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"It is not unusual to find unknowns in the deep sea – we have a lot to explore.
"They have a sample and will be able to study it more closely and will probably do some genetic analyses to determine at least what sort of animal it came from."
The hole at the front of the object could be the exit hatch for something that was once inside.
"It could indeed be an egg case of some kind," Horton added.
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Or the tear could just be damage, or something trying to get inside.
Dr Lucy Woodall, associate professor in marine conservation at the University of Exeter, said the mysterious object looked more like a sea sponge.
"The hole is probably just damage that has been suffered over time, but then again it could provide a whole new insight as to how life in the deep sea survives and thrives," she told the publication.
"However the deep sea is full of wonders that we are only just discovering."
NOAA researchers found the shiny substance 250 miles off the coast of Southern Alaska while on a live stream, as part of their 24-day Seascape Alaska 5 expedition.
The expedition seeks to record areas of the ocean that have never been seen before by humans, with some sites nearly four miles deep.
With up to two thirds of life living in the deep sea thought to be undiscovered, it could mark an exciting new find for science.
Kerry Howell, a professor of deep-sea ecology at the University of Plymouth, agreed that it could be a whole new species we're dealing with.
"In my 20 years exploring the deep sea I have not seen anything like that," she also told the Mail.
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"It's always exciting to see new things and I will wait eagerly for the analysis on the sample to understand what it actually is.
"There are many many undiscovered species in the deep sea so this could be related to a new species quite easily."
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