Rare Magnapinna squid on film


This video says about itself:

Deep-sea squid (Magnapinna sp.).

This fascinating creature, a deep-sea squid, was video taped by Shell out in the Perdido Area of Alaminos Canyon, at 7800 ft. depth.

From National Geographic:

Alien-like Squid Filmed at Ultra-Deep Oil-Drilling Site

Kelly Hearn
for National Geographic News

November 24, 2008

A mile and a half (two and a half kilometers) underwater, a remote control submersible’s camera has captured an eerie surprise: an alien-like, long-armed, and—strangest of all—”elbowed” Magnapinna squid. (See photos of Magnapinna.)

In a brief video from the dive recently obtained by National Geographic News, one of the rarely seen squid loiters above the seafloor in the Gulf of Mexico on November 11, 2007.

The clip—from a Shell oil company ROV (remotely operated vehicle)—arrived after a long, circuitous trip through oil-industry in-boxes and other email accounts. …

Despite the squid’s apparent unflappability on camera, Magnapinna, or “big fin,” squid remain largely a mystery to science.

ROVs have filmed Magnapinna squid a dozen or so times in the Gulf and the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans.

The recent video marks the first sighting of a Magnapinna at an oil development, though experts don’t think the squid’s presence there has any special scientific significance.

But the video is evidence of how, as oil- and gas-industry ROVs dive deeper and stay down longer, they are yielding valuable footage of deep-sea animals.

Some marine biologists have even formed formal partnerships with oil companies, allowing scientists to share camera time on the corporate ROVs—though critics worry about possible conflicts of interest. …

Some scientists, including Robison, are not entirely comfortable relying on corporations for new data.

Andrew Shepard, director of NOAA‘s Undersea Research Center, is excited about the potential for new ocean resources, but he does have concerns.

“Oil companies are there to develop hydrocarbons, not find new species,” Shepard said.

“These discoveries may, in fact, have a negative impact on very expensive and valuable lease tracts if someone decides a rare species needs to be protected.”

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