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The Real Vampire of the Deep

Updated on October 25, 2014

The Most Haunting Deep Sea Animal

He is not your typical Halloween character, but he is plenty creepy and kooky, and since he's kind of a squid, he certainly deserves a spot in the hallowed halls of a Halloween lens on Squidoo!

What makes this strange creature, who only lives in the extreme deep and hellish world of deep sea, so intimidating, is not the fact that he has fangs or sucks your blood. He does neither of these. What makes him Dracula-like is his grand red and black cape. The cape serves him well. It helps him to hide from predators, to catch his favorite food (shrimp) and to collect oxygen, which is extremely sparse in his part of the world.

Our Vampire Squid has for the most part a sweet and delicate life.... but with a sinister underbelly, and a very scary eye!

Photo Credit: Vampire Squid

The Vampire Cape
The Vampire Cape

Science Fiction?

No! Non Fiction... it truly lives!

The vampire squid, known to scientists as Vampyroteuthis infernalis, looks more like something that swam out of a late-night science fiction movie. The squid has large fins at the to of its body that resemble large ears. It is very gelatinous in form, resembling a jellyfish more than the common squid. The vampire squid has the largest eyes (relative to its body size) of any animal. Though it is relatively small, growing to a length of only about six inches, it has globular eyeballs as large as the eyes of a large dog.

He's nearly covered in organs which he uses to create light in his deep and dark ocean habitat. He can use his lighting to trick his predators (or perhaps his prey) into a disorienting and dizzying frenzy! Do you think he takes advantage of this? Why of course he does!

Vampire Squid breathe quite easily at oxygen saturations as low as 3%; a feat few other animals, can claim. That alone makes him quite the spooky cephalopod!

Vampire Squid from Hell! - The Scariest Creature of the Deep

Eye of the Vampire Squid

Your eye is stunning!

I am at once both

hypnotized and fearful.

Your mystic blue is like a doorway

to a world I dare not wish to

step into.

Your stare is intimidating.

What do you see

with that incredible eye?

Vampire Des Abysses

Vampire Des Abysses
Vampire Des Abysses

Vampire Squid - Ancient Species faces new dangers

Excerpts from Unedited Transcript

This menacing looking squid is just one of many species "out of sight and out of mind" that could be threatened by human activities far away from the part of the ocean in which they live.

--------------

Vampyroteuthis infernalis is a type of living fossil, meaning that it has seen very little change since it first appeared, before dinosaurs, about 300 million years ago.

--------------

"Vampyroteuthis has very large eyes, because it lives about a half a mile deep in the ocean, where the light is very dim. We took these pictures from a deep diving robotic submarine. And you can see the reflection of our lights in that beautiful blue eye."

It has a unique ability to react when it is startled. It can curl its web and arms around the rest of its body-turning sort of 'inside out.' This change in appearance may help it avoid being attacked by predators.

These cephalopods --they're technically not squids-- live in the deep ocean with millions of other species, some of which are little-known and on which little study has been done.

------------------

"They are threatened by ocean warming, decreasing oxygen, pollution, overfishing, industrialization and dozens of other changes taking place in the deep. We have a responsibility to learn all we can about these amazing animals and to protect them from the greatest danger to life in the deep: the human species."

The Order of Vampyromorphida

The vampire squid is an ancient species and is a phylogenic relic, meaning that is is the only surviving member of the order Vampyromorphida. It is a unique member of the cephalopod family in that it shares similarities with both squid and octopi.

http://www.seasky.org/deep-sea/vampire-squid.html

LIght in the Darkness - A ghostly beast!

Light in the Darkness
Light in the Darkness

The Vampire Squid has one more sinister trick up his "sleeves".

He has the ability to glow, in the deep and dark world of the ocean's bottom.

Using his bioluminescence skill, he lights himself up, creating a chaotic situation to those whom he might otherwise eat, or be eaten by in the deep and dark, nearly lifeless world of the extreme deep waters of the world.

Where's the Octopus?

Vampire squid has some cousins who do quite a number on the masking game!

Did you want more? - He's certainly worth "exploring" is he not?

Dracula, beware! The Vampire Squid is here to stay! Best not find yourself in the deeper parts of the ocean!

Is the Vampire Squid Indeed Scary to you? - Or do you see him as the Gentle Squid he may very well be?

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    • DreamingBoomer profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Kay 

      3 years ago from Jackson, MS

      It is fascinating Chancey, I agree! Thanks for your kind words!

    • Chauncey St Clair profile image

      Chauncey St Clair 

      3 years ago from New York City

      This is one scary squid. Have you noticed thatall these deep sea creatures have these fearsome teeth!? What do they need them for? At that level isn't it just dead debris that falls down? Anyway, it blows my mind all the creatures and types of bacteria that live in the deepest parts of the ocean floor! Interesting article, thanks for sharing!

    • DreamingBoomer profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Kay 

      3 years ago from Jackson, MS

      Thanks so much Arachnea and Dressage - yep I agree. We need to treat the ocean with tender care. There is so much we still do not know about what lies beneath her waters.

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 

      3 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      This is quite the squid maybe it shows Seth's true character? I found it interesting and fascinating I rather feel that we need to be more aware of how we may be affecting their environment!

    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 

      3 years ago from Texas USA

      This is a fascinating hub. I've enjoyed learning more about squids since earlier this year when I became a lensmaster on Squidoo. Interesting facts about this creature.

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