The ocean is full of different species, with depths sporting some of the most diverse and bizarre animals. A group of biologists managed to capture video of a rare giant squid in Gulf of Mexico. The rare footage shows an amazing animal which hides in the ocean’s depths.
Big…or maybe we should say “giant” news! A few days ago, we posted about how Journey into Midnight expedition team was hunting for giant squid in Gulf of Mexico. Well, they found one… Take a break from #Okeanos live video for the full story: https://t.co/HAdRebectL pic.twitter.com/6cNVH2b0IM
— NOAA Ocean Explorer (@oceanexplorer) June 21, 2019
The researchers describe the video as “the most amazing video you’ve ever seen,” according to the blog post announcement the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) made about its rather unusual expedition.
During the expedition earlier this month, NOAA scientists spotted the rare giant squid about 100 miles southeast of New Orleans, La. strolling through the Gulf of Mexico. One of the biologists was watching the footage last Wednesday and spotted “the usual shrimp and other small animals,” according to the blog post. However, he soon realized that there was something else too. He observed “a large tubular animal off on the corner of the screen.”
Instead of a small, regular squid, the researchers were baffled to discover it was a large squid which likely measured between 10 and 12 feet long. After showing the footage to an expert associated with the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Services, it was confirmed that it was a juvenile giant squid.
To determine precisely which species it was, the team used a “stealth camera system” also known as the Medusa, which is often used for deep sea exploration.
The Medusa was already on its fifth deployment in the deep sea and is equipped with a red light that is invisible to creatures living at such depths in the ocean. It can be used to bait creatures with an electronic jellyfish which can imitate the deep sea Atolla wyvillei jellyfish.
The giant squid the team saw in the Gulf of Mexico was baited by the electronic jellyfish on the Medusa camera. However, once the animal figured out that it was not edible, it backed off.
The team working on the the expedition was particularly excited because they found the rare giant squid after only five deployments of the device. Thousands of ROV and submersible dives in the Gulf of Mexico were unsuccessful before. The fact it was found only 100 miles from New Orleans also shows that they didn’t have to venture far into the ocean’s depths to find one of the largest cephalopods to date. The researchers note it is not so monstrous as its name suggests.
“We did not find a monster,” researchers wrote in the blog post. “The giant squid is large and certainly unusual from our human perspective, but if the video shows anything of the animal’s character, it shows an animal surprised by its mistake, backing off after striking at something that at first must have seemed appealing but was obviously not food.”
The video of the rare giant squid is below: