In a short video clip, an eerie surprise was captured by a submersible roving deep beneath the Gulf of Mexico. A Magnapinna squid, otherwise known as a bigfin squid, appears to drift 2,400 meters (7,800 feet) beneath the surface of the sea.
The jerky footage was filmed via a Shell oil company remotely operated vehicle (ROV) in the Perdido region of Alaminos Canyon back in November 2007. The company’s submersibles are typically used to study offshore oil rigs, but here the ROV captured a truly stunning sight instead.
Much about the creepy and ethereal creature remains a mystery to science. Estimates put the cephalopod at 8 meters (26 feet) in length, with tentacles 15 to 20 times the length of its body. As of yet, however, an intact adult bigfin has never been captured.
Based on the tentacles that trail from its “elbow-like” kinks, researchers have made some educated guesses about its feeding behavior. Some propose the creature feeds by dragging its tentacles along the seafloor, while others suggest it calmly waits for prey to swim into its sticky appendages.
For now, it seems, this slender beauty of the deep remains a mystery.