The Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea's protagonists are not the only ones to encounter bizarre sea monsters.
On board an oceanographic ship, the Okeanos Explorer, 850 meters below the surface, scientists spotted an intriguing squid that absolutely blew their minds. What was so special about this particular squid? A couple of the squid’s arms were folded right flat on the back, and a couple underneath.
As the biologists state in National Geographic, the encounter took place at around 850 meters below the surface, in the Gulf of Mexico in the Atlantic Ocean. The one-on-one was surprising to say the least, admited Vecchione, one of the scientists on board:
My first reaction was, 'What in the hell was that?'
All we can say is that the animal really could raise eyebrows.
A unique posture
Thesquid had an astonishing posture. The arms that were folded right flat on its back could mean a defensive attitude, but it is the first time scientists have witnessed this. Vecchione says:
It didn't look like any squid I had seen, until we started getting close, and the animal started rotating around.
If we are to believe the submarine explorers, the creature swam like a nautilus, a cephalopod with several tens of tentacles that moves thanks to the water that pushes it. Squid biologist Sarah McAnulty said:
This one looks more like a vampire squid in color, but then it has this completely bizarre body pattern that just totally bowled me over. It almost looks like a nautilus in the way it's swimming.
The identity of the animal remains unknown
The scientists suspect that the squid's bizarre attitude could be camouflage, but it could also be a sign of an illness or a way of optimising its hunting technique. There are several hypotheses that are hard to verify, as the animal’s posture is truly unique, Vecchione stated:
This one was real extreme. A couple of the arms were folded right flat on the back, and a couple were folded underneath, and a couple were sticking out to the side.
The biologists hope to learn more about the marine creaturein the future, especially to discover whether it's a new, unknown species.