A team of scientists and technicians found an ‘adorable’ purple, googly-eyed squid off Southern California may be a new species.
“In addition to the googly-eyed cuteness, there is one thing biologically interesting about this observation,” said cephalopod expert Michael Vecchione of the Smithsonian Institution. The creature could be a new species, he wrote in an email to the expedition.
“It looks so fake,” says one member of the Nautilus’ team. The creature looks like a cross between a squid and an octopus but is closely related to a cuttlefish, according to the Nautilus Live website.
It was spotted at nearly 3,000 feet deep, which is unusual, but not unheard of. But, on top of that, the stubby squid did not have chromatophores, cells that allow it to change colour, as members of its species do, Mr. Vecchione said.
The Nautilus team is part of a four-month Ocean Exploration Trust expedition to map underwater fault zones from Canada to California and understand ecosystems around them.
Exploration Vessel Nautilus spokeswoman Susan Poulton said the team spends hours scanning the barren ocean-scape – “then to come across something adorable like that – it’s a real treat”.
(This post originally appeared in timesofmalta.com)