Undersea surprise: Big-eyed squid looks more toy than animal

A team of scientists and technicians scanning the rocky ocean floor off Southern California couldn't contain their excitement when they spotted a bright-purple, googly-eyed stubby squid.

They let out a collective "whoa" on video posted on the Exploration Vessel Nautilus' Facebook page as a camera on a remote-operated vehicle came across the iridescent cephalopod with giant round eyes.

Then the jokes started. "He has weird eyes!" said one enthusiastic observer. "Get close! Get close!" urges another.

One suggested it resembled a child's dropped toy, and another said the creature's eyes appeared to be painted on.

"It looks so fake," says one member of the Nautilus' team.

The creature looks like a cross between a squid and an octopus but is closely related to a cuttlefish, according to the Nautilus Live website.

The find could be more than just bemusing.

"In addition to the googly-eyed cuteness, there is one thing biologically interesting about this observation," said cephalopod expert Michael Vecchione of the Smithsonian Institution. The creature could be a new species, he wrote in an email to the expedition.

It was spotted at nearly 3,000 feet deep, which is unusual, but not unheard of. But, on top of that, the stubby squid didn't have chromatophores, cells that allow it to change color, as members of its species do, Vecchione said.

The question can't be answered because this particular stubby squid remains deep in the ocean, out of scientists' reach.

The Nautilus team is part of a four-month Ocean Exploration Trust expedition to map underwater fault zones from Canada to California and understand ecosystems around them.

The team spends hours scanning the barren ocean-scape, "then to come across something adorable like that — it's a real treat," Exploration Vessel Nautilus spokeswoman Susan Poulton said.

Related News

New Jersey OKs gas pipeline through protected Pinelands

Feb 24, 2017

New Jersey environmental regulators have approved a plan to run a natural gas pipeline through a federally protected forest preserve

Study: California fault could cause magnitude-7.4 quake

Mar 8, 2017

A new study says an earthquake fault running from San Diego to Los Angeles is capable of producing a magnitude-7.4 temblor that could affect some of the most densely populated areas in California

NASA spacecraft on way to asteroid to bring back samples

Sep 9, 2016

NASA's first asteroid-sampling spacecraft is on its way to space rock Bennu

You may also like these

New Jersey OKs gas pipeline through protected Pinelands

Feb 24, 2017

New Jersey environmental regulators have approved a plan to run a natural gas pipeline through a federally protected forest preserve

Study: California fault could cause magnitude-7.4 quake

Mar 8, 2017

A new study says an earthquake fault running from San Diego to Los Angeles is capable of producing a magnitude-7.4 temblor that could affect some of the most densely populated areas in California

NASA spacecraft on way to asteroid to bring back samples

Sep 9, 2016

NASA's first asteroid-sampling spacecraft is on its way to space rock Bennu

Search

Recent Discovery will take you to the captivating developments in science, technology, and the universe around us. We deliver to you the latest news, theories, and developments in the world of science.

Contact us: sales@recentdiscovery.com

Trending News

ScienceAgricultural ScienceArchaeologyAstronomy Press