Deep sea scientists capture footage of "googly eyed" purple squid (Video)

Rossa pacifica
Video screen capture Nautilus Live

As you might guess, the ocean's murky depths hides plenty of surprises, from eerie jellyfish to deadly predator seahorses.

Of course, you can also find some adorable curiosities too, as scientists from the E/V Nautilus, a high-tech 204-foot-long research vessel diving off the coast of California did when they chanced upon this wacky-looking creature with enormous, "googly eyes" resting upon the sea floor, 900 meters (2,950 feet) deep:

In the video, the team discuss lightheartedly about this bright purple creature, saying that the disproportionately large eyes make it seem unreal: “It looks so fake. Like some little kid dropped their toy.”

But in fact, it is a Rossia pacifica, or in common parlance, a so-called stubby squid that is lying in wait for prey:

The stubby squid (Rossia pacifica) looks like a cross between an octopus and squid, but is more closely related to cuttlefish. This species spends life on the seafloor, activating a sticky mucus jacket and burrowing into the sediment to camouflage, leaving their eyes poking out to spot prey like shrimp and small fish. Rossia pacifica is found in the Northern Pacific from Japan to Southern California, most commonly seen up to 300m deep, but specimens have been collected at 1000m depth.

The stubby squid isn't a large species by any means; in fact, it's pretty small, growing to a maximum of only 2 inches by 4.3 inches, and living on average up to two years before mating, laying their eggs in batches that attach to the bottom of rocks or onto seaweed, and then dying. A pretty poetic end for such a cartoonish-looking specimen, if you ask us.

The E/V Nautilus research team continues its eye-opening exploration of the oceans, finding mysterious purple blobs and more with state-of-the-art technology; visit Nautilus Live to see what else they're discovering out there.

[Via: Gizmodo]

Tags: Animals | Nature Blows My Mind | Oceans | video


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