Scientists Think They’ve Captured First-Ever Footage of a Colossal Squid Baby

Scientists think they may have captured a colossal squid baby on camera — potentially making it the first-ever footage of the elusive creature in the wild.

The colossal squid is an evasive cephalopod that measures about 46 feet in length and weighs up to 1,100 pounds. However, despite its huge size, it remains one of the most elusive creatures in the ocean.

Sightings of colossal squid are extremely rare given that the creatures live thousands of feet underwater in the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica. While fishing boats have found a handful of complete and partial specimens, researchers have had difficulty finding the enigmatic creature in the wild.

In fact, to date, there are believed to be no photos or footage of living colossal squid in its natural habitat.

However, according to IFLScience, an international research team believe that they might have filmed the first-ever footage of a living colossal squid baby.

Is This The First Image of a Living Colossal Squid?

Marine Scientist Matt Mulrennan founded the nonprofit Kolossal with hopes of filming a colossal squid in its natural habitat by 2025 — the 100-year anniversary of the discovery of the species.

Mulrennan assembled a team of scientists to attempt to get footage of the squid aboard the Antarctic tourist cruises. The team also want to learn basic information about the sea animal, like how it hunts and looks in different life stages.

Between December 2022 and March 2023, the team traveled to Antarctica four times to attempt to find the colossal squid. The team deployed a polar tourism vessel called the “Ocean Endeavor” fitted with a deep-sea camera system that could be lowered to a maximum depth of 1,312 feet.

IFLScience reports that while the Kolossal team did not manage to find an adult colossal squid, the scientists captured footage of a glass squid that measures around 3.9 to 4.7 inches long. According to the publication, the footage is currently under analysis and could show an unknown species, an adult Galiteuthis glacialis squid, or be the first-ever video of a small juvenile colossal squid ever.

“The colossal squid is an oversized poster species for how little we know about the ocean,” Mulrennan says in a statement to IFLScience.

“The two known Cranchiidae taxa seen in the Antarctic are Galiteuthis glacialis and Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni,” Dr. Aaron Evans, who studies the Cranchiidae family and has been peer reviewing the footage, adds.

“The squid seen here could belong to different life stages of either of those taxa — and is an exciting example of wild cranchiid behavior, as I cannot think of existing video footage of either of those squid in their natural environment.”

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