Footage of a bizarre, gelatinous orb suspended in waters off the coast of Norway may look like something out of a horror movie ("The Blob 3: Death from the Depths"? We'd watch it.), but it's actually a rare sight. This blob is a mass of squid eggs.

Captain Nils Baadnes and diver Ronald Raasch were exploring the fjords of Ørstafjorden in research vessel REV Ocean when they came across the alien-like ball of eggs. Initially unsure of what they were looking at, they later learned that the pulsating blob was a mass of squid egg, although it's unclear which species spawned the unusual clump. Squid are known for their ability to produce otherworldly mucous masses, inside which thousands of eggs are incubated. The exact science behind the masses remains a mystery.

Different species produce uniquely shaped egg blobs. Just last month, divers exploring Australia's Great Barrier Reef came home with footage of a slinky-like string of eggs laid by a female diamondback squid. Humboldt squid prefer to produce a transparent blob, similar to Japanese flying squid, Gould's squid, and the neon flying squid.

Spotting the egg masses in the wild is rare as squid typically give rise to their spawn in the ocean depths. The egg masses are believed to sink even deeper once they are expelled. Although researchers are still trying to figure out the exact purpose of the binding mucous it more than likely aids in protecting the eggs from predation and infection.

Or maybe they are made to terrify. You decide.


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