Alright, the actual video may not be as dramatic as the headline for this post, but it is interesting nonetheless – the robotic arm does poke a very big squid. I couldn’t find an official source confirming the video, but everything seems to check.
From the information in the video itself and a little research, we can infer that it was captured on October 26, 2008, by an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) operated by Petrobras during a rigid gas pipeline installation near Espirito Santo, Brazil. I don’t know in what unit of measurement the “ROV Depth” is given, but it’s probably in meters, which would mean the squid enwrapped itself around the ROV at a depth of more than 400 meters.
Now, to the giant question: is it really a giant squid? As far as I could check, the ROV is probably a Subsea7-Warrior, which is around 1.7 meters (66 inches) wide. And from the video, the squid looks roughly the same length as the ROV itself. So, yes, I think it was a giant squid. Not that huge, but giant indeed. Not that I’m a zoologist either, so be sure to check again for any updates. [Read the update below: it’s not an Architeutis, but a Dana Octopus Squid]
Some have suggested it could be a more common “Jumbo”, or Humboldt squid, but the Humboldt squid is found in the waters of the Humboldt Current in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Petrobras works in the Atlantic Ocean. There are other big squids such as Onykia or Kondakovia , but they don’t seem to match depth, location and appearance quite well either.
Considering the first film of a live giant squid was taken on 2006, this new Brazilian video would be pretty relevant. Taken by an underwater ROV, it would be similar to the more recent Magnapinna footage,
and as far as I know, it would be also the first sighting near the Brazilian shore. I would more than welcome any comments, corrections, professional opinions, official sources and confirmation for this new footage.
[hat tip to Konda, thanks!]
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UPDATE: Frederico T. Magalhaes, from the Biology Institute of the Campinas State University, writes us:
“I’m a zoologist specialized in dealing with mollusks, and by the images I can say this is a Taningia danae. A species of bioluminescent squid that reaches up to around 1,70m and lives in deep waters. It was filmed alive for the first time in its habitat in 2005, before that it was known only through dead specimens and parts. Here’s an image of the video [which is also below], and here is one being examined in a lab. There’s also this nice illustration. It’s different from Architeutis sp., specially because the fins extend all along the mantle, shorter arms, no hooks and smaller size. You can see an Architeutis sp here. I hope this helps!”
It sure does, thank you very much Frederico!
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