Researchers Film Stubby Squid Off California Coast

Published August 16, 2016
Updated February 8, 2019

When crawling the ocean floor off California, researchers happened upon the most unbelievably adorable marine creature on Earth: a stubby squid (Rossia pacifica).

Footage from the Nautilus exploration vehicle revealing its discovery of a stubby squid (Rossia pacifica).

When recently crawling the ocean floor off the California coast, remotely-operated vehicles controlled by the Nautilus exploration vessel happened upon the most unbelievably adorable marine creature on Earth: a stubby squid.

Researchers ran across this surreal specimen — officially known as Rossia pacifica but more commonly known as either a bobtail squid or dumpling squid — nearly 3,000 feet below the water surface.

On the sea floor is precisely where you’ll find these four-inch creatures most of the time, especially in the summer, when the stubby squid moves to deeper waters in order to mate. And even when not attempting to mate, the Rossia pacifica will spend much of its day on the seafloor, buried up to its enormous eyeballs in the sand, where it waits to capture passing crab and shrimp.

Given its stealthy ways, it’s all the more impressive that the Nautilus, operated by the non-profit Ocean Exploration Trust, was able to record a Rossia pacifica specimen fully visible above the sand, much to the delight of the millions of viewers who’ve watched the video.

This bobtail squid footage has attracted even more attention than the vessel’s recent discoveries of both a mysterious purple orb and the eerie remains of a giant whale, both streamed live at the vessel’s continuous online video feed.

One can only wonder what the Nautilus will find next.

After this look at the bobtail squid, check out the most bizarre ocean creatures you’ll ever see.

John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.
Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.
Cite This Article
Kuroski, John. "Researchers Film Stubby Squid Off California Coast.", August 16, 2016, Accessed April 24, 2024.