Here’s a story of a strange large squid carcass hauled up from the Atlantic deep—researchers expect it was between 16 and 24 feet long when alive and intact, but the specimen was a bit gelatinous and damaged and nibbled upon. It’s been tentatively identified as Asperoteuthis acanthoderma, which has previously only been found in the Pacific.
Although muscular squid zip around to catch food, squid with gelatinous bodies typically float in deep, dark waters and let prey find them, Young says. Pacific A. acanthoderma have glowing, prey-alluring pads at the end of their tentacles. Sucker-laden tips on the pads’ ends grab curious prey and hold on until the squid moves in to swallow the food.
At least “that’s what we think happens,” Young says. “No one has yet seen one of these animals alive.”