Strange squid caught on video: This is what ETs should look like

National Geographic News got the footage from Shell Oil, which was running a remote-operated vehicle about 200 miles off the coast of Houston, Texas.

In a few seconds of jerky camerawork, the squid appears with its huge fins waving like elephant ears and its remarkable arms and tentacles trailing from elbow-like appendages.

Despite the squid’s apparent unflappability on camera, Magnapinna, or “big fin,” squid remain largely a mystery to science.

Four species of Magnapinna have been discovered since 1998. They live about 4,000 feet (1,129 meters) deep. (BBC posted a video of one some years ago, but I can’t seem to find the link. They called it a “batsquid,” a term which seems to have been appropriated by H.P. Lovecraft fans)

[Photo: National Geographic via Shell Oil]