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“Dear Dr. Wood,

I received this email from a contact that works in the oil industry. Can you ID the Mystery Squid in this video?”

The cephalopod in question is a squid in the genus Magnapinna. It was filmed on November 11, 2007 at a depth of a mile and a half from a Shell oil company ROV (remotely operated vehicle). Magnapinna is a somewhat recently described genus of long bent armed deep-sea squid. The genus currently contains four species, three of which are described.

This video is interesting, is deep, and is real. Once upon a time this was breaking news; copies of this video went around the world via the internet. However, this is no longer new news although it is still interesting footage of a rarey observed deep-sea cephalopod. Email messages to ID this mystery squid are still in circulation long after the mystery has been solved.

The video of this squid has been featured by the media. For example:

National Geographic News

AOL News

Also see:

Popular description of this genus

For scientific information about these squid, see:

Vecchione, M., Young R. E. 1998. The Magnapinnidae, a newly discovered family of oceanic squid (Cephalopoda: Oegopsida). South African Journal of Marine Science, 20:429-437.

Vecchione, M. and R. E. Young. 2006. The squid family Magnapinnidae (Mollusca; Cephalopoda) in the North Atlantic with a description of Magnapinna atlantica, n. sp. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 119 (3): 365-372.

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The Cephalopod Page (TCP), © Copyright 1995-2018, was created and is maintained by Dr. James B. Wood, Associate Director of the Waikiki Aquarium which is part of the University of Hawaii. Please see the FAQs page for cephalopod questions, Marine Invertebrates of Bermuda for information on other invertebrates, and and the Census of Marine Life for general information on marine biology.