The ocean is a reliable source for all things strange and fascinating (extraterrestrial jelly, anyone?). So when underwater footage recently surfaced of a purplish, oblong shape that looks like it was inspired by Donnie Darko's energy beam, we just added it to the anthology of oddness that is marine life. 


The clip was captured in Australia's Great Barrier Reef in Far North Queensland and uploaded to Facebook by dive operator Ocean Safari. "At first we didn't even know what we were looking at," Ocean Safari manager Kellie Roberts told ABC News. The slinky-like creature also had many online commenters scratching their heads.

"It took us a while and some research to find out what we were seeing and it turns out they were squid eggs." The eggs were more than likely laid by a diamondback squid (Thysanoteuthis rhombus), a large species found in tropical and subtropical waters across the globe. Unlike other squid species, diamondbacks spend most of their lives in male-female pairs.

They only live for about a year and get a single shot at mating and laying eggs explains Dr Blake Spady, a squid expert at James Cook University. Egg masses usually contain 35,000 to 75,000 eggs (Spady estimates that this clump is made up of about 40,000 squid-to-be). 

Header image: Escanez A, Riera R, González A, Sierra A