By Tim Binnall
Scientists working off the coast of Australia inadvertently captured the first-ever footage of an elusive and bizarre-looking deep sea squid in its natural habitat. The remarkable encounter was reportedly recorded by researchers with the Schmidt Ocean Institute as part of their effort to map the ocean floor around the island continent using an underwater exploratory robot dubbed 'SuBastian.' The group actually made headlines last week when their efforts led to the discovery of an enormous coral reef that is taller than the Empire State Building and now they have stumbled upon something much smaller and far stranger.
While ferreting around the Great Barrier Reef at a depth of around 2,760 feet, SuBastian encountered a rather peculiar-looking squid that somewhat resembled a burrito and has been likened to one of the Minion cartoon characters. When zoologist Mike Vecchione of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History was shown the footage of the creature, he was astonished to find that it was a ram's horn squid, which is known scientifically as a Spirula spirula. What makes the video particularly exciting for marine biologists is that it is believed to be the first footage ever obtained of the creature in its natural habitat and it actually served to solve something of a scientific mystery in that the way in which the creature swims had always been a matter of speculation until now.