Video: Check Out This Adorable Googly-Eyed Squid Found Off Our Coast
We know very little about the bottom of our ocean. In fact, we have more information about other planets than we do of our sea floor.
That's why it's always a joy when scientists bring a submersible to the depths and record what they find. This summer, Dr. Robert Ballard and the crew of the E/V Nautilus (the same team that found the Titanic) have been embarking on an exploration of the Pacific Coast of North America and streaming it live on the internet. Last month they found a mysterious alien orb (turns out it's a sea slug!) off the Channel Islands, and just last week they came across an equally strange, yet adorable denizen of the deep.
In a video posted to the expedition's YouTube page last week, the Nautilus team encountered what's (also adorably) known as a stubby squid (Latin name Rossia pacifica). The crew can't contain themselves: "It's so cute!" "They look like googly-eyes... like they painted them on!" "It looks so fake... it's like some little kid dropped their toy."As Gothamist editor Jen Carlson suggested, it's as if they stumbled across a Pokemon at the bottom of the ocean. It kinda does look like an Omanyte (see right).
Despite the name, stubby squids aren't true squids, but part of a group known as sepiolids (confusingly known as bobtail squids) which are closely related to cuttlefish. Like cuttlefish, the stubby squid's eyes are more forward set than a true squid's.
Stubby squid are typically found in shallower waters in the North Pacific from Japan all the way to Southern California, but as previous expeditions and the Nautilus crew have found, sometimes they like the deep.
The Nautilus expedition has already left the warmer waters of Southern California and are now exploring the floor of the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. You can watch their dives live on their website.