Nature is truly incredible.
Researchers on the E/V Nautilus spotted a rare “stubby squid” via a submersible camera they sent about 3,000 feet deep off of the coast of California – and they have the video to prove it. In the video, the scientists nerd out about how cute the stubby squid is.
Although “squid” is in its name, the stubby squid is more related to a cuttlefish than it is to an octopus or squid. The species’ real name is Rosia pacifica – and is also referred to as a bobtail squid. It spends its time on the ocean floor camouflaging itself into the sand, leaving only its eyes visible so it can see its prey.
According to ScienceAlert.com, the stubby squid’s bright purple color comes from “bioluminescent bacteria that take up residence in their mantle.” It is still unclear as to how rare a stubby squid sighting is, but the website states that they have been found as far down as 4,260 feet and as far up as under 1,000 feet.
The Cephalopod Page reports that the Seattle Aquarium is the only one to exhibit stubby squids. It reports that the Aquarium believes “it is the only one in the world to show these intriguing animals that combine the mystery and alien-ness of octopuses with the whimsy of cuttlefish.”
Whimsicality and alien-ness be damned – I’m here for the real life octopus emoji.