Skip to comments.Scientists all agog at 'octosquid'
Posted on 07/06/2007 7:36:22 AM PDT by Red Badger
A squid-like creature, rescued from a Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority deep water pipe filter, swims in a fish tank Wednesday at the facility
As denizens of the deep go, it isn't very intimidating.
But local scientists are nevertheless fascinated with the tentacled creature that was sucked up to the surface Tuesday by the 55-inch deep sea pipeline at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority.
"It's kind of an 'octosquid,'" said Jan War, operations manager at NELHA at Keahole Point. "It's got the body of a squid but the eight tentacles of an octopus."
The foot-long "octosquid" was rescued alive from a filter at the end of the pipeline, which each minutes brings up to 5,000 gallons of 39-degree Fahrenheit sea water from a depth of 3,000 feet.
Along with the brownish-red octosquid, which does not have the long club tentacles normally seen on the type of mollusks known as cephalopods, NELHA officials also on Tuesday extracted three grayish-black rat-tail fish and four satellite jellyfish.
While the smallest of the rat-tail fish was still alive -- until the octosquid made a meal of it -- the other creatures were dead. War said the fish that come up the NELHA pipeline quickly die or are already dead because the change in atmospheric pressure expands and eventually ruptures a fish's swim bladders.
But invertebrates -- animals with no backbones -- are seemingly unaffected by the pressure change. The light may have bothered the octosquid, though, since it is pitch black at the 3,000-foot depth. War said the exceptionally clear waters off Keahole Point allow light from the sun to penetrate to about 500 and 600 feet.
War, who fed the octosquid shrimp for breakfast Wednesdaymorning, said everyone was excited because it was still alive. "And we're also excited because we may have found a new species."
University of Hawaii scientists are also interested in the octosquid.
"It's a gorgeous animal," said Christopher D. Kelley, program biologist for the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory. "I want to say I've seen one, but I need to pass this one on to an expert for more examination."
To get down 3,000 feet, you have to go about a mile and a half off Keahole Point. War, who has inspected the pipelines intakes in a submersible owned by the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory, said the bottom is mostly rubble and sediment.
"The slope is a lot like Hualalai at 30 percent," War said. "There's a fair share of life down there -- mostly things suspended. But you also see things swimming around."
Kelley said Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory has a database of everything it has videotaped since it began the deep-sea dives in the 1980s, but there is so much that has yet to be discovered at those depths.
"We have one starfish-like creature that we can't even get the phylum (a primary division in the animal kingdom)," he said. "We've just labeled it 'animal.'"
War said there's a 40-inch pipeline, which brings water up from the 2,000-foot depth, that seems to produce different types of sea creatures. "You don't get these jellys in the 2,000-foot pipeline," he said. "I don't know if that means they stay deeper, or they just happened to be migrating through that area when they were caught."
Eventually, NELHA would like to put some of the benthic creatures out for display, but it takes an 8-ton crane to pull the filter out of the pump shaft, so cleaning is a major operation. "We'd like to find some way to do it more often," he said. "We pulled the skeleton of a fish out of there once, and we'd like to have seen what that was."
Kelley, who said he is also interested in the satellite jellyfish, said he's willing to take any of the animals that NELHA can't use or display.
"I hope they keep calling us when they get them," he said. "Needless to say, trips by humans to that depth are rare, so we're very interested in anything they come up with."
I bet that’s good with a little marinara!
Well, boil ‘er up and let’s see how it tastes!
I gathered from another article that it is already dead.
Turducken of the sea!
“Oh Brad, this will never work! We are too different! I’m a squid and you’re an octopus-”
“Baby, those things are just labels! All we need is love and we’ll be fine!”
“Oh, take me, you manly invertebrate hunk! Take me in your eight tentacles and never let me go!”
I think James Carville (half-man,half-viper) wins the freak show!
It was alive when found, but it may have died from lack of pressure, as it came from 3000 ft below sea level......
Cute & “cuttle-ly”..........
I make it a point not to eat anything that starts with “Turd”........
I’m agog at the octo-squid also.
Actually, it looks like it could have a Sunday morning children’s show from your photo.
LOL! That was AWFUL! :)
The article mentioned that the pressure change usually killed fish specimens but cephalopods were unaffected. It was alive and eating shrimp last week, but another article did mention that the octosquid and other specimens had been preserved by freezing.
Formaldehyde leaves a taste that tarter sauce can't cover. :-)
“..the 55-inch deep sea pipeline..”
They should have rephrased that.
A Deep Sea Pipeline, 55 Inches in diameter.
55” DIAMETER.........3000 feet deep........
Underwater Paperbacks, a new industry is born.
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