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A team from Caladan Oceanic went searching the Philippine Sea for the USS Johnston, a World War II ship that sank in 1944, when they came across something even more surprising: the world’s deep-dwelling squid.

More than 20,000 feet below the surface, the two explorers inside the sub captured a shadow crawling on the seafloor and further investigation proved it to be a young bigfin squid.

The squid, which featured long, slender terminal arms and tentacle filaments, is the first to be observed at hadal depths that represent the deepest marine habitats on Earth.

The last time a human eye saw a large-finned squid was in 2014, but this specimen was only 15,400 feet below the surface.

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More than 20,000 feet below the surface, the two explorers inside the sub captured a shadow (pictured) crawling across the seafloor and further investigation proved it to be a young bigfin squid.

The Bigfin squid, or Magnapinna, is known for its long arms and tentacles and can be up to 22 feet long, but the one seen last month was a juvenile so it wasn’t fully grown, only three inches long. .

Alan Jamieson, a deep-sea researcher at the University of Western Australia, made the discovery of the squid in images collected by the researchers, which were released in December 2021, but the sighting was earlier in the year.

While looking at the footage, he saw a confrontation moving across the screen and sent the clip and still images to Mike Vecchione, a zoologist at the Smithsonian Institution, Revista Smithsonian reports.

And from the outline of the creature, Vecchione concluded that it was a magnapinnid.

The last time a human eye saw a large-finned squid was in 2014, but this specimen was only 15,400 feet below the surface.

The last time a human eye saw a large-finned squid was in 2014, but this specimen was only 15,400 feet below the surface.

Alan Jamieson, a deep-sea researcher at the University of Western Australia, made the discovery of the squid in images collected by researchers studying the Philippine Sea.

Alan Jamieson, a deep-sea researcher at the University of Western Australia, made the discovery of the squid in images collected by researchers studying the Philippine Sea.

However, the wreck was discovered in April 2021: the squid was seen shortly after during another wreck dive.

The wreckage from the USS Johnston area is also the deepest on record, which the team mapped and filled in completely.

The World War II destroyer USS Johnston was destroyed 75 years ago in the Pacific during the largest naval battle in history, the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

The ship sank four miles to the bottom of the ocean, with the loss of 186 of her crew.

Big-finned squid

The Bigfin squid, or Magnapinna, is known for its long arms and tentacles and can be up to 22 feet long, but the one seen last month was a juvenile so it wasn’t fully grown, only three inches long. .

An image of an adult large-finned squid is shown in the image.

An image of an adult large-finned squid is shown in the image.

During a series of dives, the former US Navy officers were able to relocate the USS Johnston and then spent several hours surveying and mapping the remains of the 376-foot-long ship.

Victor Vescovo, the American private equity investor, retired naval officer and underwater explorer who led the expedition, spoke to the BBC about the challenges in locating the wreck; he also shared the images with Jamison, which led to the discovery of the big-fin squid. .

However, the wreck was discovered in April 2021: the squid was seen during another dive on the wreck.

However, the wreck was discovered in April 2021: the squid was seen during another dive on the wreck.

The ship is famous for its brave action in the Battle of Samar.  Outgunned by the Japanese, the USS Johnston led an attack by a handful of lightships against a colossal fleet until she was surrounded.

The ship is famous for its brave action in the Battle of Samar. Outgunned by the Japanese, the USS Johnston led an attack by a handful of lightships against a colossal fleet until she was surrounded.

“The wreck is so deep that there is very little oxygen down there, and although there is some contamination from marine life, it is remarkably well intact, except for the damage it took from the furious fighting,” he explained.

The ship is famous for its brave action in the Battle of Samar. Outgunned by the Japanese, the USS Johnston led an attack by a handful of lightships against a colossal fleet until she was surrounded.


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