Tag Archives: sealife

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]

Creatures of the Antarctic

These tulip shaped creatures were snapped in the Antarctic oceanWhen people suggest humans should colonise space, it’s often said that first they should attempt to conquer an alien world on our own doorstep – the oceans. The deep cold and pressure of the seabed is just as much a challenge as the vacuum of space and the creatures that live there are just as strange as any in science fiction.

Take a look at some of these Tunicates, that look like glass tulips rising in stems from the seabed. A recent Antarctic expedition found many new species a mile underwater.

Martin Riddle, leader on the research ship Aurora Australis, said yesterday: “Some of the video footage is really stunning. Gigantism is very common in Antarctic waters. Many [of the animals] live in the dark and have pretty large eyes. They are strange-looking fish. In some places every inch of the sea floor is covered in life. In others we can see deep scars and gouges where icebergs scour the sea floor as they pass by.”

Whilst space has its own challenges and fascinations, there are still some parts of our world that have never before been glimpsed by human eyes.

[story and image via the guardian]