While diving off the Mediterranean coast of Fethiye, Turkey, underwater photographer and videographer Lutfu Tanriover of Derin Underwater Film discovered an enormous gelatinous mass that he named “The Thing“. Tanriover filmed the mass, set the footage to ethereal music by the band 2002 and created a stunningly beautiful video which he then posted social media. One commenter mentioned that Dr. Mike Vecchione, the Director of the NOAA Fisheries National Systematics Laboratory, had recognized the mass as a “ommastrephid squid egg case” that was “one of the largest he’d seen” in an interview with Deep Sea News.
Dr. Vecchione is an expert on squid, and to him this giant sphere looks like a huge squid egg mass, and it’s the largest he’s ever seen. In fact, egg masses like this may be floating off many major coasts, not just Turkey’s. But what kind of squid, specifically, could produce a mass this big? Dr. Vecchione best guess? A large red flying squid named Ommastrephes bartramii. These animal can grow to around 1.5 meters (~5 feet) in length. As their name suggests, red flying squid can fly, or rather glide, by jetting out of the water and flattening their tentacles and fins to make “wings”. They’ve also got arms packed with suckers complete with “teeth”