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Crazy video shows a rare squid with ‘headlights’ swimming deep in the ocean

Published May 20th, 2024 2:24PM EDT
deep ocean with light coming in
Image: donfiore / Adobe

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Researchers working with the University of Western Australia and Kelpie Geoscience in the UK have shared some fascinating footage of a recent underwater encounter with a rare squid that appears to have “headlights.” The squid was captured on video attacking a small camera drone in early May.

These squids are known as deep-sea hooked squids or Taningia danae. While spotting them is rare, they are usually found over 1 kilometer below the surface, making them some of the more elusive deep-sea squids that we know of.

What sets these rare squids apart from others is their ability to create bioluminescent flashes on the end of their tentacles. These flashes can be used to startle and stun their prey, allowing them to latch hook and grab their dinner. That’s exactly what we see in the video, which you can see in the embedded tweet below.

The deep-sea hooked squid is one of the largest deep-water squids we have discovered so far, and its tentacles feature the largest known photophores in the natural world, the researchers explained in a post about the discovery.

It’s actually really lucky that the scientists were able to capture such an iconic and close-up video of this rare squid, as it actually tried to attack one of the cameras, giving us an extremely close-up view of how it typically tries to overtake its prey. Seeing it swoop in as it does looks like it would be exceptionally terrifying for any of its actual prey.

The ship carrying the camera that was attacked, the RV Dagon, is currently in the final weeks of a three-month expedition to explore the Nova Canton Trough in the Central Pacific Ocean. This video is just one of several stretches of content the ship’s cameras have captured, giving us amazing glimpses into the underwater world that fills our oceans.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.