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In Photos: Strange Purple Orb Found in Pacific Ocean

Collected Sample

Strange Purple Orb

(Image credit: OET/Nautilus Live)

Meanwhile, landlubbing researchers will analyze the DNA and RNA of the mysterious purple orb to try to figure out where it fits in the tree of life.

Underwater Mystery

Strange Purple Orb

(Image credit: OET/Nautilus Live)

A side view of the probable marine mollusk found in Arguello Canyon. Researchers found this organism on a rocky, muddy seafloor alongside a crab, clams and brittle stars.

Unraveled Orb

Strange Purple Orb

(Image credit: OET/Nautilus Live)

Researchers were stumped upon first encountering the orb through the cameras of their remotely operated vehicle Hercules. Onboard, the bumpy sphere relaxed into a lobular, slug-like form. [Read the full story on the purple orb]

Purple Brain?

Strange Purple Orb

(Image credit: OET/Nautilus Live)

The mystery purple blob awaits analysis in a tank aboard the E/V Nautilus. Live-streaming of the expedition allows the public to follow along with science in action, Ocean Exploration Trust founder and president Robert Ballard said in a statement.

"Lewis and Clark traveled for more than two years and had to wait to return home to share what they'd seen. Now, the moment a discovery is made, scientists can virtually step aboard the ship and share findings in real time as well as help direct the minute-by- minute operations," Ballard said. "This is a voyage of discovery everyone can make." [Read the full story on the purple orb]