Although it looks like something you would see in one of your favorite alien movies, this purple orb was actually found in our own ocean and not another planet. Scientists have recently found the strange looking orb near the Channel Islands, off the coast of California. Finding the orb itself was actually a happy mistake – the researchers were originally searching the area to study different deep-sea corals.

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If you’re looking for a definitive answer as to what the orb is, unfortunately, we don’t have one. Some scientists speculate that it could be a previously unseen type of sea slug. Others argue that it resembles more closely a jellyfish or coral. The blob sort-of looks like an exercise ball or a stress ball, and local crabs seem to be very attracted to it.

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In an effort to better understand what the creature is, a scientist has used a vacuum-like technology to pull it off of the sea floor. The hope is that researchers will be able to figure out what it is and why it has such a peculiar appearance, as well as what roles it plays in the local ecosystem. We’re hoping that it doesn’t end up in the “hands on” area of the local aquarium for a life of being poked at by curious fingers.