In the pitch-black water, 759 meters below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, a thin, wavy arm emerges from the darkness.
Suddenly he splits and what was a lonely, strange attachment is a writhing bouquet of tentacles, until finally, out of the darkness and the attacks, a god-awed giant squid blossoms.
Then the animal disappears back into the depths as suddenly as it has surfaced.
For the first time a living giant squid was filmed in US waters. The video was captured by a team of researchers on an expedition funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to study the effects of light deprivation on deep-sea animals living in the "midnight zone" at a depth of 1
To bring this historic image into the world, the crew of 23 had to use a special probe, lucky enough to lure the elusive squid into a camera between hours and minutes to find hours of video footage.
Then the downloaded video had to withstand a sudden lightning strike on the metalworking ship threatening the scientists' computers. Above all else, a gargoyle suddenly formed on the port side.
Edith Aries, one of the leaders of the expedition, described the ordeal as "one of the most amazing days at sea I've ever had".
Widder, Founder of the Ocean Research & Conservation Association, reported Sunday on the dock, where the research vessel Point Sur docked at sea just two weeks later, about the dramatic events surrounding the discovery.
Scientists had used a special camera system developed by Aries, called Medusa, which used undetectable red light for deep-sea animals, allowing scientists to discover species and observe elusive species.
The probe was equipped with a fake jellyfish mimicking the bioluminescent defense mechanism of invertebrates, which can signal to larger predators that a meal might be nearby to lure the squid and other animals into the camera.
Still days to the end of the two-week expedition, 100 160 kilometers southeast of New Orleans attracted a giant squid to the bait.
When a storm raged across the Gulf last Wednesday, Aries waited in the ship fair for videos of the Medusa that her colleague Nathan J could handle. Robinson, director of the Cape Eleuthera Institute, came in.
"His eyes almost jumped out of his head," said Aries. "He did not even say anything, and I knew right away that he saw something amazing on the video.
" We all screamed and other people run to the lab and we try not to get upset. In science you have to be careful not to fool yourself, "she said.
But it was hard not to rejoice in what they saw in the video, it sure looked like a giant squid, but the storm It was difficult to reach an expert on land who could properly identify the creature.
Then the ship was struck by lightning because of the not dramatic enough things.
Aries heard a loud bang and ran Outside, to see a yellow and brown cloud of smoke, with debris scattered on the deck, she and her colleagues immediately feared for the computers with the valuable footage.
ever seen was still fine, which it was, " Aries remembered.
A few hours later, their captain told them that there was a jet of water nearby, a weather formation similar to a tornado.
But in the end everything was fine: Michael Vecchione, zoologist at NOAA National The Systematics Laboratory was able to confirm from a distance that they had actually taken pictures of the elusive giant squid. The researchers estimated the length to be at least 3 to 3.7 meters.
Even without lightning strikes and tornadoes in the open water, filming a giant squid in its natural habitat is extremely difficult – so difficult that until 2012, no one had done it, when Aries and she and her colleagues were on a mission Japanese coast used the Medusa to record the first videos of giant squids in their deep sea home.
In 2004, Japanese scientists succeeded in making the first pictures of giant squids and collecting a portion of tentacles from a live animal. Historically, much of what scientists knew about giant squids came from dead specimens washed ashore or salvaged from the terns of sperm whales, reported Smithsonian Magazine .
Their enormous size was alien Features and elusive behavior have brought the giant squid a legendary status among marine life.
"It has eight spiraling arms and two cutting tentacles," said Aries.
"It has the biggest eye of an animal we know It has a beak that can tear flesh, it has a jet propulsion system that can go back and forth, blue blood and three hearts, it's an amazing, amazing life form Of which we know almost nothing. "
Cuttlefish have served as the basis for the legendary Kraken and his reputation as a monster has been illustrated by performances in Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea and in Herman Melville's Moby Dick who perhaps contains the best descriptions one of his place in the public concept:
"We have now looked at the most marvelous phenomenon that the secret seas of humanity have revealed so far: a huge fleshy mass of cream-colored length and breadth floating on the water, countless long arms radiating from the center, curling and turning like a nest of A. nakondas, as if they were blindly caught in an unlucky place object within reach. It had no noticeable face and no noticeable front. no conceivable sign of sensation or instinct; but curled there on the waves, a supernatural, formless, accidental appearance of life.
[…] Whatever the superstition of sperm whales generally has to do with the sight of this object, it is certain that looking at it is so unusual that circumstances have gone far to give it meaning. It is so rare to find that each of them declares it to be the largest living thing in the ocean, but very few of them have only vague ideas of its true nature and form.
During the Modern Age Thanks to the technology, scientists have been able to see the giant squid better than the doomed souls of the Pequod, given the mythical ancestry of the creature, the dramatic circumstances of this new discovery feel appropriate.
Aries and her colleagues, including Robinson and Sönke Johnsen The biology professor at Duke University hopes that discoveries such as these will continue to inspire public imagination and encourage marine research support.
"What used to be feared are now curious and magnificent creatures that are pleased "Johnsen is pleased and Aries wrote on the NOAA expedition blog:
" We want to feel that science and exploration have brought about this change, making the world less frightening and wondrous with each new Th "
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