Animals / Crazy Stuff - Invertebrates Minus Insects / The Vampire Squid from Hell

The Vampire Squid from Hell

vampire squid illustration


"Vampire squid from hell" is the translation of this squid's latin name - Vampyroteuthis infernalis. Aside from this nice name, the squid has some other interesting, possibly infernal, characteristics. Is a bit scary-looking with it's squat, puffy, zombie-ish body. Some are black with red eyes, although not all of them. It has big round eyes that can be blue or reddish. The skin can also be reddish or pale. It does not have vampire fangs but does have a big white beak. It has blue blood. The tentacle arms are covered by tiny, hairlike features called cirri. The arms have suckers on the outer sides. They can resemble an umbrella or appear bell-shaped with their webbed arms stretched out. It can turn itself inside-out as a defensive posture.



vampire squid red inside out


The most fascinating characteristic is that, like some other cephalopods, the squid possesses light-producing organs all over the skin. They create complex flashing displays like synchronized dancing lights or a Christmas tree's blinking lights, alternating the color, speed and direction of light flashes. This is likely used to dazzle and confuse predators.


vampire squid biggest eyes


They hatch with one pair of fins, but then develop a second pair closer to the front of the body. For a short period the vampire squid has two pairs of fins, but the original pair soon disappears. It can swim, sometimes quickly, by flapping it's fins as they move through the water.

Don't worry too much about coming across this wicked squid, you will only encounter these squid in the deep sea at depths of 1,965 to 4,920 ft (600 to 1,500 m) or perhaps if you end up in hell. Anyway, it appears that they are not fearsome predators. It is not known exactly what they eat but most likely it is tiny jelly-like or plankton animals floating about on ocean currents.

Another interesting factoid is that this squid probably has the largest eyes, relative to body size, of any animal.



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Great clip of the vampire squid swimming around.





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