Vampire squid FNF

Ghosts and Gills – Vampire Squid

posted by Veronique Koch on 25 October 2013

Happy Hallowe’en! In this second installment of our Ghosts and Gills series we present to you the Vampire Squid! We love this part squid/ part octopus. It’s creepy, it’s mysterious, it’s… tiny?

Vampires have been in mythology and folklore since storytelling began. There is something about a blood-sucking creature that truly haunts us. From Nosferatu to Edward of the Twilight series, we can’t get enough of our Vampire stories.

Vampire squid from below FNF

Vampire squid side view

This creepy critter is a loner as the last remaining species in the order Vampyromorphida. The Vampire Squid’s name refers to its jet-black skin, the caped appearance of the webbing between the arms, and eyes that appear red under some light conditions.

Apart from its scary looks, the Vampire squid is thought to be quite docile and very small – its body is only 15 cm (about 6 inches) long! And don’t worry, they only eat copepods, prawns, and cnidarians. You can watch a video of them eating below, thanks to MBARI researchers. Not that any of this matters because you are unlikely to ever come across a Vampire squid: they live in the deep ocean at 600 to 900 metres (2,000 to 3,000 ft) below sea level.

Fun fact:
Vampire Squids glow in the dark! Thanks to some large, paired, complex photophores at the bases of the fins, from organs at the tips of all eight arms, and from luminous fluid released by the arm tips, you can see them glow from far away. That screams Hallowe’em to us!

It’s day two of our pre-Hallowe’en series and we are loving the response. So if you can think of a spooky sea creature please post it in the comments below! Happy Hallowe’en, everybody!

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