Ram's Horn Squid: Marine Researchers Capture in Film Elusive Creature in Deep Sea

In a video, the deep-sea researchers noticed that the Spirula puffs up its mantle to make a final escape into the depths of the ocean

The world oceans are filled with several rare creatures and many of them have already been found during marine excavation. Recently biologists noticed and filmed a wild, elusive creature—Spirula—live on video in the depths of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

The deep sea is a mysterious place and also not widely explored. But recently when marine biologists navigating the depths of the sea using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), they found a rare creature. The Schmidt Ocean Institute filmed the marine creature in late October when it was floating vertically at some 2,850 feet underwater.

The non-profit institution tweeted a video and wrote that "This appears to be the FIRST observation of Spirula, aka ram's horn squid, alive + in its natural environment. Very rarely seen or captured, they have many extinct relatives, but are only living member of genus Spirula, family Spirulidae, and order Spirulina."

ram’s horn squid,
Ram’s Horn Squid captured in a video Twitter/ @SchmidtOcean

Surprising Find In Deep Sea

Mike Vecchione, a zoologist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, said that he never saw the ram's horn squid in its natural world. The video showcasing the marine creature exhibits its astonishing speed as it goes away from the camera.

The name came from the shape of its coiled, interior shell, which the unique marine creature uses to control the buoyancy in the deep sea. However, their intriguing shells wash up on beaches and some are also sold on online platforms.

According to Jay C. Hunt, a biologist at East Stroudsburg University, Spirula, which can emit lime-green light from a large photophore, is the only living squid which has an internal coiled shell. "Normally, we'd be able to see the squid breathing through its funnel, but not in this case. This suggests that being perfectly still is the primary defense of this little guy."

All the signs point to the fact that this species, particularly the one captured in the video is rather shy. Unlike other cephalopods, this marine species held its arms together in a cone which is a kind of posture that allowed the squid to pull its head inside the mantle and close it like a turtle.

As per Vecchione, he speculated that this posture could protect the Spirula from small predators like amphipods. Even though the final escape of this creature has amazed people, Dr. Vecchione said "It is a squid, after all. It is capable of doing squid-dish kind of things."