Magnapinna Squid

Magnapinna Squid

The deep sea is full of wild and interesting creatures. Some of them are wilder and weirder than anything Hollywood could come up with. Today we are going to look at one that looks as though Hollywood even copied it for the aliens in the War of the Worlds. We're going to look at the Magnapinna Squid, also known as the Bigfin Squid, because...well...that's what Magnapinna means. So let's take a deep dive into the world of this elusive creature.


The Magnapinna Squid, like other squid, has a body with two fins on either side. It also has extremely long arms and tentacles, which are believed to get to a length of 4 to 8 m (13–26 ft). Unusually for squid, the fins are almost the same length as the mantle, which is where their name comes from. Another unusual characteristic of these squid is that their arms and tentacles seem to be the same length, whereas in other species of squid, the arms are longer. The tentacles are also held out wide of the body, which gives the creature the appearance of elbows, and almost like a puppet master. Since we know so little about this particular species, we don't know what role their tentacles play in feeding. In fact, we don't even know exactly what they eat yet. The tentacles could be used to get food from the sea floor or just wait passively for prey to swim amongst them. 


The squid lives in the very depths of the ocean. Remote-operated submersibles haven't seen them less than 1.5 km (5000 ft) deep. The majority of the admittedly few sightings have occurred between 2 and 3 km (6 500–9,800 ft) depth.


One of the reasons why we don't have a more definite length of arms and tentacles is that very few of these animals have been seen, let alone brought to the surface. In fact, we haven't even seen the full life cycle. Scientists have a theory that the adults are what are known as the "Long-Arm Squid," but no individuals of these squid have been captured, so scientists have not been able to confirm their identity. 

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