Monday, 30 April 2018

This Contorted Mystery Squid May Be the 'Most Bizarre' Ever Seen

By Mindy Weisberger, Senior Writer | April 20, 2018 11:57am ET

"There's a challenge for you — what is THAT?"

Unusual deep-sea creatures seen for the first time can sometimes stump even a seasoned expert in marine biology. And in a recent video of an ocean dive in the Gulf of Mexico, an expert's off-camera exclamation revealed his surprised response to the appearance of a squid that had contorted itself into such a peculiar shape that it barely resembled a squid at all.

On April 17, the inverted, folded-up squid made its on-screen debut for the cameras of an expedition submersible. Its posture was so peculiar that Mike Vecchione, a research zoologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), dubbed the contorted cephalopod "the most bizarre squid I've ever seen." [Gallery: Exploring the Gulf of Mexico]

The dive was part of an ocean exploration mission to investigate deep-sea habitats in the Gulf of Mexico. The expedition is being conducted by the NOAA research vessel Okeanos Explorer and is taking place from April 11 through May 3.

From aboard Okeanos, scientists send deep-diving remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to capture high-resolution video of marine communities and to map the geography of habitats on the bottom of the ocean. Okeanos researchers share frequent updates from the dives, including photos and video, posting them on the mission's website.

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