A group of scientists researching the ocean floor near California stumbled upon a cartoonish yet adorable creature, known as a Stubby Squid.
The amazing video of the googly-eyed squid has gone viral after it was spotted off the coast of California by a research vessel. Stubby squid live in the Northern Pacific between Japan and Southern California, and are usually spotted at a depth of about 300 meters.
|Looks like PEARL of|
The stubby squid was spotted by the E/V Nautilus, which uses a remotely operated underwater vehicle to explore the ocean floor. As the drone sub approaches the cephalopod, the team can be heard trying to determine at first whether it is an octopus or cuttlefish.
The team then dissolves into laughter while watching the animal, while one admits 'it's freaking me out!' and the other says 'maybe its a cuddlefish!'
Also spotted at those depths: a mysterious purple orb...
CONTINUE READING and watch VIDEOS of the stubby squid and of the purple orb (pictured) ......
The team later determined the cephalopod was a Stubby squid — also known as Rossia pacifica — which is closely related to cuttlefish, according to a description of the video posted by the team that captured the footage.
'This species spends life on the seafloor, activating a sticky mucus jacket and burrowing into the sediment to camouflage, leaving their eyes poking out to spot prey like shrimp and small fish,' the description on the E/V Nautilus YouTube page read.
The stubby squid was spotted in Trask Knoll, a NW-SE elongated hill located south of Santa Rosa island, in the outer California borderland. It is about 20 km-long and ~400 m-high.
Can you spot the tiny stubby squid? Even researchers were stunned by the find, one exclaiming 'It's like some little kid dropped their toy.'
Little is known about this feature, except that it appears to be bounded to the west by a fault, the Trask Knoll fault. Earlier studies indicate that Miocene sedimentary rocks cover most of Trask Knoll, but at the center is a metamorphic rock of unknown age.
The E/V Nautilus is part of the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) — led by famed oceanographer and explorer Dr. Robert Ballard. The group on board was part of a four-month exploration of the ocean floor near British Columbia and down the west coast of North America to Southern California.
More weird creatures around
It is not the first strange creature spotted by the sub. Last months a mysterious purple orb sucked off the sea bed during a live-streamed Nautilus exploration has stumped scientists, and naturally the internet too.
Mysterious: Live-stream footage from the underwater explorer Nautilus captures a strange purple orb
Inquisitive viewers of the YouTube video have made multiple guesses as to its origins, ranging from an 'alien egg' to a brand new species of Pokémon.
In fact it is more likely the bright orb, found by the Channel Islands of California, is a type of marine mollusc.
At least that is the current view of scientists who in all honesty are not completely sure, and it could take several years before they find out.
In the video a team of researchers with the Ocean Exploration Trust are seen scouring the seabed with the floating laboratory Nautilus.
'Can we have a look at that dark purple blob on the left there,' says a female member of the team.
Zooming in the camera picks up the bizarre glowing orb hanging from a rock shelf.
One scientist says 'Ooh what is that?' Another responds: 'I actually have no idea.'
The purple globe, which looks like a squidgy stress ball, also attracts the attention of a curious crab
My precious: The red crustacean crawls over and strokes the orb, which also has a soft red centre
The globe, which looks like a squidgy stress ball, also attracts the attention of a curious crab. The red crustacean crawls over and strokes the orb, which also has a soft red centre.
Operating the machine the researchers decide the take the specimen in for a closer examination, deciding upon suction as the most appropriate method.
Controlling a robotic hoover, notably wrapped up with duct tape, they move closer. After some minor adjustments they successfully suck the sphere into the laboratory before the footage cuts out.
VIDEO OF THE MYSTERIOUS PURPLE BALL
showing a crab that comes to investigate
Underneath the footage viewers have eagerly begun posting their thoughts on what it could be.
One wrote: 'Is it an alien egg?'
And along a similar line another posted: 'They didn't tell us because it was aliens.'
While one user wrote: 'My dog's chew toy! We lost it at the beach some time ago! My dog says she'd like it returned please.... just throw it, she said.'
Multiple viewers have also joked that it could be a Pokemon, one suggesting: 'These Pokemon Go locations are getting ridiculous.'
Currently the best rational guess is that it 'could possibly be a new species of nudibranch,' according to the Nautilus Live website.
'This unidentified purple orb stumped our scientists on-board. After sampling, it began to unfold to reveal two distinct lobes,' it added on the page.
A nudibranch is a mollusc that has a soft body and is noted for its amazing range of colours and forms. There are over 2,000 species currently known to man.
Yet on their YouTube channel the researchers wrote: 'We won't know definitively what it is for a while. It could possibly take years for scientists to determine if it's a new species.
'Our team preserved the sampled specimen and it will be sent off to a lab for further investigation.'
In response to troll comments about the team who operated Nautilus they added: 'Each team in our ship's rotation have different missions and goals, and most definitely have different personalities.
'We love that these personalities shine through in our videos! With the right attitude, anyone can be a scientist!'
VIDEO OF NAUTILUS CREW SPOTTING THIS CUDDLY
STUBBY SQUID FOR THE FIRST TIME
THE STUBBY SQUID - SUMMARY
Stubby squid live in the Northern Pacific between Japan and Southern California, and are usually spotted at a depth of about 300 meters.
This species spends life on the seafloor, activating a sticky mucus jacket and burrowing into the sediment to camouflage, leaving their eyes poking out to spot prey like shrimp and small fish.
They have been spotted, though sightings have occurred at much lower depths, according to the page. The one in the video, for example, was located 900 meters below the ocean surface off the coast of California.
For more fascinating adventures with the crew, they broadcast 24 hours a-day, 7 days a week at Nautilus Live. They are also on Twitter and Facebook.
Pink octopus also looks like Pearl,
of Finding Nemo
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