A research vessel exploring the ocean off the California coast recently captured footage of a “googly-eyed” Stubby squid, and the video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times since it was posted to YouTube on Friday.
The video was shot by a team from the E/V Nautilus, which uses a remotely operated underwater vehicle to explore the ocean floor.
As the vessel approaches the cephalopod, the team can be heard trying to determine at first whether it is an octopus or cuttlefish.
As the ROV gets closer to the creature, however, the team’s attention quickly shifts to its unusual-looking eyes.
“They look like googly eyes … It looks so fake!” one woman exclaims in the video. “It’s like some little kid dropped their toy.”
Two others in the video comment that the eyes look as though they were painted on.
The team later determined the cephalopod was a Stubby squid — also known as Rossia pacifica — which is closely related to cuttlefish, according to a description of the video posted by the team that captured the footage.
“This species spends life on the seafloor, activating a sticky mucus jacket and burrowing into the sediment to camouflage, leaving their eyes poking out to spot prey like shrimp and small fish,” the description on the E/V Nautilus YouTube page read.
Stubby squid live in the Northern Pacific between Japan and Southern California, and are usually spotted at a depth of about 300 meters, though sightings have occurred at much lower depths, according to the page. The one in the video, for example, was located 900 meters below the ocean surface off the coast of California.
The Exploration Vessel Nautilus is a 64-meter research vessel operated by the Ocean Exploration Trust, which is among a number of organizations that funds the Nautilus Exploration Program, according to its website. Other agencies funding the operation include the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and the Office of Naval Research.
Click here to watch live video from the Nautilus Exploration Program.