Researchers from the Schmidt Ocean Institute have managed to capture the rare and elusive Ram’s Horn Squid on video in what could be the first recorded sighting of the animal. The discovery was made in late October when the institute explored the Great Barrier Reef via a remotely operated vehicle named ‘SuBastian’ at a depth of 868 meters.
The rare creature gets its name from the shape of its interior shell, which the animal uses to control its buoyancy. Scientists are aware of the creature due to their shells’ often washing up on beaches around the world. However, according to an interview by the NY Times with Chong Chen, a biologist at Jamstec, “This may indeed be the first time a live animal has been caught on camera in its natural habitat.”
Take a look at the mysterious encounter below:
Exciting news! This appears to be the FIRST observation of Spirula, aka ram’s horn squid, alive + in its natural environment. Very rarely seen or captured, they have many extinct relatives, but are only living member of genus Spirula, family Spirulidae, and order Spirulida. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/re4rZyRuER
— Schmidt Ocean (@SchmidtOcean) October 27, 2020
During the clip, you can see the Ram’s Horn Squid, or ‘Spirula’ as its more commonly known, gently float into the view of the camera. Towards the end of the video the squid displays its astounding speed by quickly bolting out of frame, as if it was suddenly pulled away by something.