OceanXplorer ROV Captures Footage of a Purpleback Flying Squid Inside a Shipwreck at Bottom of Red Sea

Purpleback Flying Squid

While exploring the remains of a 2011 shipwreck on the floor of the Northern Red Sea during their maiden voyage, the team aboard the OceanXplorer glimpsed an odd anomaly on their radar. Unsure of the nature of this peculiar reading, they sent out the onboard ROV to explore. What they discovered was a very large squid of some sort weaving in and out of the wreckage.

About a year after the mission, they took the footage to Dr. Michael Vecchione, Curator of Cephalopoda at NOAA, who determined that the large squid in question was a Sthenoteuthis oualaniensis (purple back flying squid) rather than the Architeuthis (giant squid) the team first thought it was.

Purpleback flying squid. Sthenoteuthis oualaniensis. In the area that you’re operating, in  the Red Sea, there’s a well known population of those. …I think what  you’re seeing is what’s called the giant form of Sthenoteuthis. … the fin size, the  proportions of the fin relative to the body, show me that it’s not a giant squid. If you  stop it right there, you see it’s got fins that are short and broad and sort of thicken  together. They look sort of like an arrowhead. I know that you probably wanted to think that you  had some video of giant squids, but I can tell you  that I’m absolutely certain  it’s not an Architeuthis dux.

Nonetheless, the unexpected discovery of such a massive cephalopod was thrilling to all aboard.

via Boing Boing