The squid was filmed swimming around upside-down. Image Credit: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program
The NOAA's Okeanos Explorer vessel filmed this extraordinary cephalopod during a recent expedition.
Described by one marine biologist as "probably the most bizarre squid I've ever seen", the remarkable deep red squid was spotted by a submarine thousands of feet below the western Gulf of Mexico.
With its distinctive hue and strange, upside-down posture, the creature is certainly unusual.
"You get a lot of octopuses that are sitting on the ground and being adorable," said biologist Sarah McAnulty. "This one looks more like a vampire squid in color, but then it has this completely bizarre body pattern that just totally bowled me over. It almost looks like a nautilus in the way it's swimming."
It is thought that the squid could be Discoteuthis discus, a species that has never been seen alive before. Positively identifying it as such however has proven to be quite challenging.
"My first reaction was, 'What in the hell was that?'" said NOAA biologist Mike Vecchione. "It didn't look like any squid I had seen, until we started getting close and the animal started rotating around."