Rare squid with ‘elbow’ tentacles baffles scientists in spooky new footage

It looks like an alien — head dwarfed by enormous flapping fins, body blobbing through dark water, thin blue tentacles streaming behind it in a tangle of neon spaghetti. But despite its otherworldly appearance, the elusive cephalopod known simply as the Bigfin squid (Magnapinnidae) may be more common in Earth‘s deep oceans than scientists ever knew.

In the 113 years since its discovery, the Bigfin squid has been spotted in the wild only 12 times around the world. Now, a study published Wednesday (Nov. 11) in the journal PLOS ONE, adds five new sightings to the tally, all of them captured thousands of feet below the surface of the Great Australian Bight in South Australia.

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