Scientists aboard the Exploration Vessel Nautilus were observing the seafloor off Southern California via a remote-controlled submersible when they spotted an odd-looking sea creature that had them questioning didn't look real.
Researchers joked that it looked fake, that the eyes looked painted on, and that someone must have dropped a toy and it ended up sitting on the bottom of the ocean at 2,950 feet.
The Washington Post called it an "impossibly cute sea creature" that looks like "a googly-eyed cartoon octopus."
CNN described it as a "SpongeBob Squarepants-looking little guy."
How did the Nautilus team describe it? It wrote this in its YouTube video description:
The team spotted this Stubby Squid off the coast of California at a depth of 900 meters (2,950 feet). The stubby squid (Rossia pacifica) looks like a cross between an octopus and squid, but is more closely related to cuttlefish. This species spends life on the seafloor, activating a sticky mucus jacket and burrowing into the sediment to camouflage, leaving their eyes poking out to spot prey like shrimp and small fish. Rossia pacifica is found in the Northern Pacific from Japan to Southern California up to 300m, but in addition to our sighting, researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have spotted them at depths of 1,300 m (4,260 ft).
So the purple-colored, cartoon-looking sea creature is actually a stubby squid related to cuttlefish. Well, a googly-eyed squid seems much more apropos.
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