In 1995, the Smithsonian Institute was given a collection of eastern Pacific squids, but one of them just didn’t look like the others. In fact, it didn’t fit within any known family of squids. Features included:
This squid provided clues that led to the identification of a whole new family of squids: the Magnapinnidae, or bigfin squids. A few years later, researchers in deep-sea submersibles noticed some very odd squids, large with 20-foot-long spaghetti-like arms that bend like elbows. When they compared these creatures to the ones in the Smithsonian Institute, they realized that they were observing adult bigfins.
Take a look! This video was shot at a depth of 7,800 feet.
There appear to be different species of this bigfin squid, although physical differences are slight, mostly related to tentacle and arm structures in juveniles. Adults range from 5 to 23 feet and the elbow-like angles of the tentacles seem to help the creatures from getting tangled up.
This squid has been spotted in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans, plus the Gulf of Mexico, once about 15,534 feet below the surface. That’s about three MILES below, and this happened off the coast of Brazil.
This squid actually has the longest arms of any known squid species, with ten appendages that look the same. One scientist speculates that the squid uses them like spider webs to catch prey.
Photographs and video have been taken by eight independent scientists from eight different institutions located in four countries. However, because a squid has not been caught, questions still remain and official classification cannot occur.
Ocean Systems has been designing, building and distributing high performance marine equipment since 1988. We are recognized for providing product excellence to the marine video industry. Ocean Systems goes to great lengths to ensure our relationship with our customers will last for years to come.
We were founded with the vision of producing durable and affordable solutions for exploring the marine environment. Our goal is to help reveal the mysteries of the deep and spark the imagination. As we continue to bring new and innovative ideas to the water, we hope you will invite your friends and neighbors to see what all the excitement is about.