Giant Squid, Phantom of the Deep, Reappears on Video

“Even just a hundred miles off the coast, we’re seeing things that they put on the corner of the maps — you know, ‘Here lie monsters,’” he mentioned. “You could be out here, and beneath you are giant squid, the things of our wildest imagination! They’re part of our land, they’re part of our country.”

Deep-sea researchers steadily level out that science is aware of much less about the nonetheless largely unexplored deep waters past human imaginative and prescient than it does about the floor of Mars.

The large squid has lengthy been an exemplar of this actuality: a gargantuan creature, but identified to people solely as a result of lifeless specimens washed ashore or large squid beaks had been present in the stomachs of sperm whales, the animals’ main predator.

Even as fishery depletion has compelled ships to trawl in deeper waters, which means that extra large squid specimens are hauled up in nets, this affords solely slender glimpses into their world. A physique on its personal, Dr. Vecchione mentioned, “doesn’t tell us anything about how they make a living in their natural environment.”

The new video, recorded at a depth of 759 meters, in a spot the place the ocean backside lies at 2,200 meters, affords uncommon and helpful clues to the animal’s habitat and searching strategies.

Dr. Widder designed the optical lure to emulate the mild jellyfish emits when it’s being attacked. According to the “burglar alarm theory,” the animal’s mild is supposed to draw some bigger predator, which is able to assault no matter is attacking the jellyfish. That a second large squid was drawn to the lure appears to bolster the principle.

Still, scientists have little thought how the species as a complete is faring, particularly as the oceans it calls residence are quickly warming and acidifying. “It could fall out of existence without us even knowing,” Dr. Robinson mentioned.

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