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posted by janrinok on Sunday April 22 2018, @09:54AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the admiral-ackbar dept.

Bizarre Squid Seen Alive for First Time

In the Gulf of Mexico, a strange creature lurks in the deep: a blood-red squid with stubby arms, missing tentacles, and a knack for swimming like a nautilus.

The unusual squid, which might or might not be a new species, was filmed on April 17 by the crew of the Okeanos Explorer, a research vessel run by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Charged with exploring Earth's largely unknown deep waters, the Okeanos Explorer has captured extraordinary footage over the years. Previous expeditions have filmed strange glowing jellyfish, a ghostly octopus nicknamed "Casper," and deep-sea "krakens" fighting inside of a shipwreck. From now until May 3, 2018, the ship will be broadcasting its undersea adventures live on YouTube.

But on April 17, researchers got a surprise: Thousands of feet beneath the surface in the western Gulf of Mexico, the Okeanos Explorer's remote-controlled submarine spotted a creature that, at first, didn't resemble a squid at all.

Related: Possible New Species of Octopus Discovered Near Hawaii
Brine Lakes at the Bottom of the Gulf of Mexico Investigated with Undersea ROVs


Original Submission

Related Stories

Possible New Species of Octopus Discovered Near Hawaii 6 comments

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists have discovered a possible new species of octopus near the Hawaiian Archipelago:

In the ocean near Hawaii, more than 2 1/2 miles underwater, scientists have discovered a small small, delicate-looking and ghostlike little octopod — possibly a new species. The animal was discovered by Deep Discoverer, a remotely operated vehicle, or ROV — picture a small, unmanned submarine equipped with cameras and a robotic arm — that was working to collect geological samples

Michael Vecchione, of the National Marine Fisheries Service, described the Feb. 27 discovery on the NOAA website:

"As the ROV was traversing a flat area of rock interspersed with sediment at 4,290 meters, it came across a remarkable little octopod sitting on a flat rock dusted with a light coat of sediment. The appearance of this animal was unlike any published records and was the deepest observation ever for this type of cephalopod."

Vecchione explained that cirrate octopods — which have fins between their arms and little finger-like strands near their suckers — have been reported at depths up to 5,000 meters. But the octopod encountered by Deep Discoverer was incirrate, like the familiar octopus — and incirrate octopods have never before been detected at depths below 4,000 meters.


Original Submission

Brine Lakes at the Bottom of the Gulf of Mexico Investigated with Undersea ROVs 5 comments

New Frontier in Ocean Exploration: The E/V Nautilus and NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer 2015 Field Season (22.1 MB PDF, starts on page 30):

During two cruise legs of the 2015 E/V Nautilus field season, the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Hercules was deployed to examine some of the cold seep features of the deep Gulf of Mexico. Cold seeps are locations where hydrocarbons that are normally trapped deep beneath the seafloor escape into the water column. The hydrocarbons are forced out from the depths by the movement of large salt bodies that developed over the course of several million years as water evaporated from an ancient shallow Gulf of Mexico (Brooks et al., 1987). Shifting of these salt layers produces cracks in the oil-bearing shale that provide pathways for upward migration of oil and gas.

At some seep sites, deep within the sediments, the interaction of porewater and salt results in a highly saline fluid (brine) that can be more than four times more saline than seawater. When this brine is expelled from the sediments, it is far denser than the overlying seawater and does not mix very easily with it. In some cases, the brine forms large pools, or even rivers, as we discovered on one of the ROV dives at a site called Garden Banks 903. [...] At active seep sites where methane and hydrogen sulfide are expelled at the sediment-water interface, large mussel beds can form (reviewed in Cordes et al., 2009). Here in the deep sea where food is generally scarce, bacterial symbionts in the mussels' gills allow them to use dissolved gases being emitted at the seafloor as a source of energy.

[...] On the last leg of these seafloor hydrocarbon community investigations, we focused on a larger brine pool dubbed the "Jacuzzi of Despair," in reference to its warm temperature (19°C) and high salt content—which can be fatal to many macrofauna unlucky enough to fall in (we observed large dead isopods and crabs that had been preserved along the edge of the brine pool). This crater-like, circular, brine-filled pool rose 3 m above the surrounding seafloor, and brine was spilling out on one side in a spectacular "waterfall."

Also at Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle .


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday April 22 2018, @11:09AM (5 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 22 2018, @11:09AM (#670302) Homepage Journal

    Probably Russian submariners, in disguise.

    --
    Our first six presidents were educated men. Then, along came a Democrat.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 22 2018, @12:36PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 22 2018, @12:36PM (#670321)

      Paraphrasing: if you have a military background, everything looks like the enemy (?)

      Abraham Maslow said in 1966, "I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail."

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_the_instrument [wikipedia.org]

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday April 22 2018, @12:54PM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 22 2018, @12:54PM (#670324) Homepage Journal

        Nahhhh, squids is squids. If you were military, you would refer to your fellow servicemen with the appropriate terms - grunts, jarheads, squids, airedales, etc. Squid is generic for sailors - submariners are bubbleheads when you want to discuss them specifically.

        They've discovered a new squid, I figure it's Russian sailors. Or, it could be those Asians who are claiming large parts of the ocean around Japan and so on.

        --
        Our first six presidents were educated men. Then, along came a Democrat.
      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 22 2018, @01:15PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 22 2018, @01:15PM (#670327)

        Oh interesting, I always heard that adage as "If C++ is your only hammer, every problem starts to look like a thumb."

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23 2018, @12:38AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23 2018, @12:38AM (#670548)

          Not so fast! That's a std::thumb<std::thumb::thumbnail, std::thumb::thumbnail_traits<std::thumb::thumbnail>, std::thumb::allocator<std::thumb::thumbnail>>, you insensitive clod!

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by BK on Sunday April 22 2018, @03:04PM

      by BK (4868) on Sunday April 22 2018, @03:04PM (#670367)

      Maybe that's where they keep their Nuclear Wessles?

      --
      ...but you HAVE heard of me.
  • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Sunday April 22 2018, @06:42PM

    by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Sunday April 22 2018, @06:42PM (#670431) Homepage
    I can see the vids of all the other things mentioned, just not this new(ish) squid.
    --
    Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
  • (Score: 2) by SacredSalt on Monday April 23 2018, @02:11AM

    by SacredSalt (2772) on Monday April 23 2018, @02:11AM (#670575)

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Mystery Calamari!

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