Friday, August 13, 2010

Creature Feature: Vampire Squid from Hell.

Monsters lurk in the deepest, darkest depths of the oceans. Life flourishes in the places that sunlight never touches; the abyss is a brutal, glorious light show with more wondrous life forms than any movie. IA IA CTHULHU F'TAGN!

That includes vampires...or at least the weird-as-fuck vampire squid.

Even the Latin name admits that this thing looks hellish. Vampyroteuthis infernalis literally means "vampire squid from hell," making it have one of the coolest scientific names in the world. With its little winglike ear flaps, red (or black) body and batlike cloak, it totally fits.

Vampire squid are technically neither squid nor octopuses. They are a living fossil of a cephalopod that has gone virtually unchanged over the eons. No other extant species has nearly sucker-less tentacles, eyelids that cover a translucent blue eye or sensory filaments that almost resemble dragon whiskers.

They have awesome eyes, too.

The vampire squid is small - only about a foot long, at best. It has numerous tricks up its sleeve to avoid being eaten, the most well-known of which is its 'pumpkin' mode:

The spikes are harmless. Swear.

Like many creatures that live down that deep, Dracula here is also bioluminescent. It has small spots that can serve as glowing 'eyes' that shrink in the depths, giving the impression that the squid is getting away. Another glowing defense it has is, I kid you not, shooting out sparkle snot worthy of being called Edward Cullen body glitter.

Perhaps H.P. Lovecraft was onto something: In the deepsea abysses, Cthulhu waits dreaming.

2012...Think about it.

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