Scuba diver finds world's largest single celled organism
A scuba diver exploring the reef in Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea came across a very strange object embedded in the coral, fifty feet below the waves. It first appeared to be a metallic sphere with a reflective surface that was strangely transparent. Some algae and debris covered part of the surface. The diver's lights penetrated part of the object as if it were made of colored glass.
Unable to resist, the diver touched it, believing that it was some sort of man-made object that had become embedded in the reef. It looked like a giant metal ball bearing or a marble. It was his intent to bring the item to the surface to be disposed of. But as he touched it, he realized it was slightly soft and that it was anchored to the coral. Repulsed, he believed he might have been touching a large fish eye that had become rooted somehow and he promptly let go of it. He rubbed the surface for a second to get a better look and he then decided that it was a living creature of some sort. At that point, it was obvious that he should not disturb or touch this thing any further.
Upon returning to the dive boat, he described his find to a very seasoned dive instructor who explained that this was a "sailor's eyeball", the largest single celled organism known. It is a species of algae (Valonia ventricosa) known as "bubble algae" and "cursed grape". At two inches across, this one is extremely large.
A very unique organism, they have been studied due to their unusually properties relating to osmosis and diffusion, as well as their electrical properties.
There is so much in the ocean that we do not understand. This bizarre algae is just one example. For those who dare to venture into this underwater world, the sights are both beautiful and fascinating.