An amazing image of the elusive big-fin squid

0d75907b0d8898d80a5f595e7e076d36-the-bigfin-squid-is-a-real-deep-sea-creature-that-will-eat-your-dreamsMagnapinna squids are one of the deep-sea more ethereal creatures. Little is known of these squid as very few have ever been captured, although over the last decade with the increased usage of remotely operated vehicles (ROV) and submersibles more and more video is emerging of them.  They are unusual in both that the fins are up to 90% of the length of the body, i.e. the mantle, and the ridiculously long length of the arms. The squid often will hold some of the arms at a 90˚ angles from the side of the body.  Wikipedia has a nice entry on the history of their discovery.

On November 11, 2007., a  Shell oil company ROV capture a Magnapinna on video (below) at a depth of 2386 meters (~1.5 miles). Someone (I’ve been unable to track down who created this), used the video to produce a single image of this individual (above). It was subsequently posted to Reddit. Love the image of this fascinating creature.

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

48 Replies to “An amazing image of the elusive big-fin squid”

  1. Not to doubt your veracity, but I know of no naturally occuring objects that have right angles to them. Something about that throws up a red flag!

    1. You do realize Jay that you are capable of making right angles with a number of your body parts,


    2. This is the best comment in the whole thread. It’s almost like you’ve never looked in a mirror before.

    3. Jay, right angles happen in nature all the time. Halite is the most obvious mineral to cleave at a 90 degree angle with no human interaction. This is because the molecules that make up the mineral are arrayed in a box formation inside the crystalline structure. Right angles are INDEED natural.

    4. As others have pointed out, that’s just patently untrue. Imagine the tentacles jutting out as stiff objects and the tentacles going downwards as limp objects. Easy 90* angle just due to gravity.

    5. Jay Schufman’s actual thoughts are in brackets:

      “Not to doubt your veracity [Despite the fact that you are an expert, I completely doubt your veracity], but I know of no naturally occuring objects that have right angles to them [I am completely ignorant of physics, chemistry and biology; yet, my opinions should be considered as relevant to the real world] . Something about that throws up a red flag! [I am very skeptical of things that don’t conform to my narrow view of the world!]”

      I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, Jay. The angles *do* appear to be closer to 89 degrees, so I guess your “hypothesis” could still have merit. Don’t give up yet!

  2. If you think about it. Any water current could push those tendrils in a 90 degree angle… However I’m not sure a t that depth there would be a current…?

  3. Holy–that weirds me out, but so very cool! The forms life takes way down deep will never cease to surprise and amaze me.

  4. Cthulu & War of the World’s, no doubt.

    As I understand it, those tentacles can reach out grab you. Then bring you toward it’s beak & internal rotating eviscerator teeth . . . Before ingesting your already drowned corpse.

Comments are closed.