True to its name, this squid has two different-sized eyes, one much larger than the other. Scientists think the larger eye detects faint light that filters down from above, and the smaller one spots bioluminescence generated in the deep. They’re collected with the help of our partners at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.
Ok, they’re not all that terrifying (to me, anyway), but they are quite mesmeric creatures. Last night I shared the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s adorably frightful e-cards, and they’re continuing in the spirit of All Hallow’s Eve with a “Spooky Cephalopod” series. Displayed with an eerie red glow, the two featured videos thus far have been the Cock-eyed Squid and the Japetella octopus. The Cock-eyed Squid (featured above), of the genus Histioteuthis, is named so appropriately. Their right eye is normal – blue, sunken and appropriately sized. Then take a peak at their left side and there you’ll find a bulbous, tubular greenish-yellow eyeball nearly twice the diameter as the other, bulging from its mantle! Creepy. Scientists believe this discrepancy aids the squid in detecting different forms of light – the larger eye processing faint light from above, while the smaller eye focuses on the bioluminescence of the deep. Next up, the Japatella octopus, is actually a mid-water octopus. The lovely, spherical cephalopod has the neat ability to go from transparent to an opaque orange color thanks to chromatophores. While neither of these species are currently on display, the aquarium still has its “Tentacles” exhibit up and running. It’s near the top of my long list of trips to make before the year is over, perhaps I’ll get lucky and spot one of these fascinating subjects. .