The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire

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Friday, June 03, 2005

Vampire squid from hell

From a South Africa scuba diving, marine and environmental news blog:

Vampyroteuthis infernalis literally translates into the phrase "vampire squid from hell". It is the only known member of the Order Vampyromorphida, the seventh order in the Class Cephalopoda. Technical terms aside, the vampire squid appears like a creature that swam out of a scary science fiction movie. It features black chromatophores interspersed with reddish-brown chromatophores.

The vampire squid doesn't have an ink sac but its arms are covered with sharp tooth-like spikes hence the name "vampire squid". This odd member of the squid family has large fins at the top of its body that almost look like a set of large ears. Add to that the fact that it has the blue eyes and that its eyes are proportionally the largest (eye to body ratio) of any animal and it qualifies as both weird and real!

Go read the rest of it for yourself. The description is too weird and scary to post here.

3 Comments:

Blogger HP said...

Cephalopods are my all-time favorite critter. So smart, and yet so biologically alien to mammals -- except for those freaky eyes.

I remember seeing the first footage of vampiroteuthis only a few months after the initial discovery. At first you see what looks like a scarlet cloak billowing as it jets past. And then it turns and opens like an umbrella, and the whole think is covered with fangs. Hands down, perhaps the greatest living thing on the face of the planet.

6/03/2005 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger Carnacki said...

They do sound pretty cool. I posted that last line to try to lure some traffic to the guy's blog. ;)

6/03/2005 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger HP said...

Well, it worked for me! Maybe if he starts getting traffic from the macabre end of the blogosphere, he'll start posting regular "mysteries of the deep."

It was only about 10 years ago that vampyroteuthis was a newly discovered animal, never before seen. I guess deep diving is getting more and more common, because I hear something new about the vampire squid 2-3 times a year without really looking for them.

6/04/2005 03:00:00 PM  

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