1. flaq says

    Judging by it’s Latin name, that thing will suck your blood and send you straight to hell. Cute.

  2. scotth says

    They’ve got some stunning footage of one of these creatures in the “Ocean’s Deep” episode of “Planet Earth” (the real series with David A. doing the narration)

  3. Josh says


    “Many have tried.”
    “They tried and failed?”
    “They tried and died.”

    Seriously, that color in the eye isn’t an artifact? That’s awesome!

  4. says

    That’s the greatest scientific name of any species I’ve ever seen. Every time I need an example of a random species, I’m absolutely going to refer to Vampyroteuthis infernalis.

  5. Jim in Buffalo says

    It reminds me of The Tell-Tale Heart…

    “I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture –a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold…”

  6. Menyambal says

    That blue eye makes him look aware. The body and the name make him look scary, indeed.

  7. says

    Cool animal. Find it hard to believe that the eye wasn’t digitally “finessed.” As an amateur wildlife photographer I often wrangle with the fuzzy line between honest and not.

  8. Masklinn says

    Vampyroteuthis infernalis is pretty much the most awesome cephalopod on the whole science damned planet. The “reversed” form (where the squid pulls his arms over his mantle, hiding itself in the skin webbing connecting the arms) is beautifully strange (the insider of the webbing is all black, and the inside of the arms themselves is lined with spikes).

    Plus when it’s afraid it doesn’t shoot ink (which would be pretty useless in the oceanic depths) but bioluminescent mucus full of photophores!

  9. Paulino says

    Masklinn, I once had the chance to examine freshly collected V. infernalis, during a oceanographic cruise. The black lining that you refer to, is blacker than anything I’ve ever seen, blacker than pitch black. The only light you saw coming out of that surface was reflected by the film of water and mucus. There must be some very interesting and unusual pigments under that skin.

  10. says

    “Vampyroteuthis infernalis” – you guys love giving these things butch names, eh?

    Why can’t you have a cephalopod named “fluffyus cuddlensis”?

  11. ElectricBarbarella says

    SQUEE!! I got my Vampire Squid. :)

    Okay so maybe he didn’t do this *for* me, but I can dream. :)

    Thanks, PZ!


  12. astrounit says

    Hey, is that thing trying to mimic a fierce countenance complete with jaws and teeth???

    A little lower and the viewer would get that side-view impression…

  13. LRA says

    Dr. Meyers,

    You might like this video: Octapodi (animated short nominated for Academy Award):

    I thought it was cute, plus it highlights just how smart octopi are!