Scientists have discovered a mysterious never-before-seen virus in a lake in Brazil.
They named it Yaya, after a mermaid who lured soldiers underwater to their death.
The new unknown virus has been discovered in Lake Pampulha, an artificial lake in the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil in January.
Named after the mythological mermaid Yara, the Yaravirus has left scientists baffled because it doesn’t appear to be related to any other viruses in the world.
The new virus contains 74 genes in total, from which only six had already been recorded in literature. In other words, 90 per cent of Yaravirus genes have never been seen before, making it wholly unique.
The discovery comes amid the outbreak of a new killer virus across the world which started in China.
COVID-19 coronavirus was first discovered in December 2019, and since, has killed more than 1,000 people and infected over 44,500.
Yaravirus was taken from a single-celled creature called amoeba and scientists already speculate it represents the first isolated case of an unknown group of amoebal virus, describing the Yayavirus as a ‘new lineage of amoebal virus with a puzzling origin and phylogeny.’ in a published paper on the server bioRxiv.
For now, Yaravirus doesn’t appear to pose any threat to humans. It can only transfer between amoeba.
Two years ago, a new giant virus novelty named Tupanvirus, again after a mythological god, was found in a lake in Brazil.
COVID-19 coronavirus jumped from animals in a food market in China to humans, and has since developed the ability to spread between people via a cough or sneeze.
So far what’s been described as ‘the worst enemy you can ever imagine’ has claimed more than 1,000 lives and struck down over 44,500 people in a matter of weeks.
It is feared the coronavirus has the potential to infect more than 60 per cent of the population if containment methods fail, based on a top Hong Kong medical officials predictions.