There are plenty of bizarre creatures on Earth — Pokemon aside — some of which are odder-looking than others. A sea creature recently spotted on the ocean floor, however, seems to be taking the prize for “cutest cartoon-looking animal,” Nature World News reports.
Nautilus Live published a video that shows a team of scientists stumbling onto a ‘googly-eyed’ squid 2,950 feet deep off the California coast. Needless to say, the video has gone viral, quickly earning thousands of views and shares since it was uploaded.
One of the researchers can be heard saying in the video, “It looks so fake. Like some little kid dropped their toy.” The creature turned out to be quite real. Called Rossia pacifica, more commonly known as the stubby squid, Nautilus Live says it is generally found in the Northern Pacific region, from Japan to Southern California.
The stubby squid looks like a hybrid between a squid and an octopus and is a close relative of the cuttlefish. It is a cephalopod, belonging to the sepiolid family. It has two long tentacles and eight arms with suckers, but does not have a cuttlebone or quill, like other squids.
Stubby squids mostly stick to the bottom of the ocean, and like cuttlefish, burrow in the sand. They usually appear at night, attracted to the bright lights from divers, but bury themselves in the day to escape predators. The squids, much like other kinds of squid, emit blobs of black ink to deter and distract when threatened.
The small creatures grow up to six centimeters long, and move by using their fins as jet propulsion, sucking in water and squirting it out to push their bodies in different directions.
Female stubby squids die after mating and laying eggs on rocks, shells or sponges. There are around 25 to 50 eggs per mating cycle, enclosed in a tough capsule that holds the young until they hatch.