The same process applies to new discoveries.
Though the researchers have been trying to know more details about the purple blob, Nautilus continues to explore waters off the southern California coast.
They used a sucking device to draw the object into the ROV.
However, this weird purple orb attracted the researchers' attention. "It could possibly take years for scientists to determine if it's a new species". Their best guess is that it might be a gastropod (a mollusk such as a snail or slug that belongs to the class Gastropoda) called a pleurobranch - and possibly a new species.
"But now we're thinking the purple orb is a pleurobranch, a nudibranch relative". There's a moment of suspense as a crab closes in on the orb and jars it with its leg, but the Nautilus successfully grabs the sphere using a remote-controlled suction tube.
Can you spot it? A member of the research team asks to zoom in on the orb seen here in the top left corner
Even if the creature is a totally new species, it will be some time before scientists are comfortable giving it the designation.
The Nautilus crew broadcasts many of its dives, and it was streaming live when the purple blob was found.
This scene unfolded in a video this week on Nautilus Live, a website devoted to the vessel's expeditions. A large network of scientists communicate and work in tandem with the Nautilus team, pointing out specimen that on-board scientists might otherwise miss.
"We sort of sail with a science team of hundreds", Poulton said.
The researchers were studying ocean wildlife from the EV Nautilus, a research boat now based in Victoria, British Columbia. Robert Ballard, who discovered the wreckage of the Titanic, started the nonprofit in 2008 to engage in "pure ocean exploration".