Although it is the home
of approximately 98% of the ocean’s species, the deep sea is a frontier yet to
be explored by natural scientists. Of the estimated 500.000 to 10 million
species living on or above the seafloor, new species are discovered and
described by marine biologists every year. Being one of the biggest and most
extreme environments on Earth, the deep sea’s biodiversity is enormous in both
species of prey and predators. From demonic red octopi to gigantic squid
wrestling with sperm whales, the most interesting group of marine predators
would be the deep sea’s cephalopods.
The biggest problem
living as a squid at 5000 meters depth is the pitch black environment you have
to hunt in. A great variety of cephalopods have adapted to their surroundings
in the most extreme ways. One of the easiest feeding strategies is what we call
“passive hunting”, and one of the more scary-looking squid known to science –
the genus Magnapinna – uses this
technique in the most bizarre way. Known commonly as Bigfin squid, or
Long-armed squid, this group is known for its irregular big fin-size and
extremely long arms. Although previously only known from caught juveniles, in
2007 an eerie video was made by a research facility in the Gulf of Mexico. What
they saw was a 8 meters-long adult squid, floating around in the abyss.
Another more obvious
feeding strategy is active hunting: squid are known to chase and ambush their
prey using their intelligence and extremely complicated eyes. While we know
that the eyes of squid are highly adapted and look similar to those of a
mammal, there’s one species that takes it a step further. The so-called
strawberry squid (Histioteuthis
heteropsis) gets its name from the strawberry-like appearance of its skin.
The light-producing speckles, or photophores, are supposed to confuse
predators. What’s more interesting however, is the fact that it has one
“normal” eye and one big green eye. It is believed that the smaller eye detects
bioluminescence generated from potential prey, while the other eye watches the
sky and filters faint light from above.
While the strawberry
squid tries to confuse its own predators, sometimes the best defense is simply
being bigger than the predator. Some squid have evolved to be gigantic, take
for example the Humboldt squid (Dosidicus
gigas) from the gulf of Mexico. The human sized squid are known to be
hostile towards divers and even hunt in packs – sometimes referred to as “a
squad of squid”. An even bigger squid can be found in the deep: the Giant and
Colossal squid (genus Architeuthis
and Mesonychoteuthis) are known to
reach sizes over 10 meters. There is only one animal capable of fighting a
gigantic squid: the 16-meter long Sperm whale. Although never observed by
biologists, evidence of squid-whale battles can be found on stranded whales.
Circular marks, believed to be caused by the suckers of the squid, cover the hide
of several found Sperm whales.
Lastly, there’s one
group of cephalopods often overlooked by the general public. Having the
creepiest name from the deep sea, the Vampire squid is one of the most
interesting organisms on Earth. Its Latin name Vampyroteuthis infernalis literally means “vampiric squid from
hell”, but its name is scarier than the animal itself. The Vampire squid feeds
on the so-called deep sea snow: flakes of waste material that slowly falls to
the ocean floor. It uses a long thread-like appendage to collect the snow and
brings it to its mouth.
Thought to be the common
ancestor of both squid and octopi, the bright red molluscs share a lot of
characters with the other cephalopods. There are however some differences. When
threatened, Vampire squids cannot simply swim away. Instead, they use an unique
arsenal of defensive strategies. The filaments between their tentacles can be
used to protect their soft bodies, exposing spiny structures on the inside of
the tentacles. In addition, Vampire squid have no ink-sacs like other lineages,
but can emit fluorescent fluids to scare predators away.
There’s a lot we still
don’t know about the deep sea and its inhabitants, but every day new species
are being discovered by marine biologists. We don’t have to look for other
planets to find aliens, the weirdest organisms can be found below the waves,
waiting for us.
Hi I’m Werner, master student and invertebrate
enthusiast. Most information was found through the Monterey Bay Aquarium
Research Institute: if you’re interested in deep sea stuff like me, check out
Because of their adaptive abilities — rapid growth, short lifespans and flexible development — cephalopods are sometimes called “the weeds of the sea.” And it seems like that might be serving them well.
According to study published in Current Biology cephalopod abundance has increased since the 1950s. The reason for this growth is not yet clear, but it maybe that their adaptability has allowed them to thrive in a changing climate while other ocean dwelling populations suffer. Study author Bronwyn Gillanders says that figuring out the reason for cephalopod abundance may tell us a lot about “how human activities are changing the ocean.”
Introducing Octo Valley’s next DJ-in-training - Princess Oliana!
Now, this octokid’s got a story. I’ve got this headcanon that DJ Octavio adopted all Octolings to be his daughters (and with all the other Octarians…they could be his sons, but I’ve got to see how that works out XD). But Oliana (we’ll call her Ollie for short) was his only birth daughter (which can be seen in her color scheme). So he takes extra special care of her, forbidding her to go out with her sisters and fight against the Inklings. Instead, he wants her to train as a princess, so that she can be the next top DJ of Octo Valley! Now, Ollie has no problem with being ruler. But what really grinds her gears is her father’s refusal to let her be a battle Octoling. She believes that training with her sisters will make her stronger and more adept. It was Ollie who actually broke DJ Octavio out of his snow globe the first time. She disguised herself as a battle Octoling and snuck past all defenses to free her father, who, while overjoyed at being freed, wasn’t too pleased that she had disobeyed him. Now that he’s been captured the second time, Marie made some adjustments to the snow globe, making it so that only the hands of an Inkling could open it. Ollie was disgruntled, as usual, but she wasn’t about to leave her father again. But she didn’t want to risk squidnapping Callie, since that had brought unwanted guests (Marie and Agent 4). No, Callie was too famous. So she decided that she would instead sneak into Inkopolis and squidnap a random common squid from the streets of Inkopolis - the first squid who would catch the pretty sight of the hypno-sunglasses.
More information shall be given soon. :D I hope you all like it!
“Hi there, love! Would it be possible to get a Draco x reader, please? One where Draco has a slight panic attack when he comes to the conclusion that he’s turning into his father. (Y/N) is there and she promises Draco that he’s nothing like his father and that she would make sure he would never become like his father either.” ~Anon
Hi! Thank you so much for the request! I was absolutely thrilled to write this! I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather lately (due to these horrible temperature and weather changes), so I had a bit of an excuse to sit inside on my laptop all day😂.
“Hey.” y/n said, standing in the doorway of Draco’s dormitory. “Ready to head to dinner?”
Draco was laying on his bed. He looked at his girlfriend with a smile. “Of course I am, love.”
She giggled. “Well, let’s go!”
They headed to the Great Hall together, hand in hand. It was a lovely Sunday evening. Y/n sat down next to Draco at the Slytherin house table.
“I’m so not ready for class tomorrow.”
“No one is, Zambini.” she stated.
Draco was really quiet all throughout dinner, which was very unlike him. Y/n noticed, but didn’t say anything. After they ate, they got up and left the table, heading back to the common room.
“Are you alright?”
Draco nodded with a smile as he sat down on the sofa. “I’m fine.”
She smiled back at him. “You’ve just been really quiet and distant today.”
He didn’t reply.
Y/n yawned. “I think I’m gonna try and get some sleep.”
Y/n didn’t sleep well that night. She never did on Sunday nights. There was something different about this one though. Something she couldn’t quite grasp. She got out of bed and headed to the common room. Maybe the giant squid would be visible.
She leaned on the railing of the balcony over looking the common room. The giant squid wasn’t around, but something else caught her attention. She ran down the stairs with worry.
She slowly sat down on the couch. “It’s 2AM. What are you doing down here?”
His breathing intensified, getting faster and heavier by each breath. Tears started to fill his silver eyes. Soon, his cheeks were reflecting the firelight from the torches on the walls.
Sitting up a little straighter, y/n put a hand on his arm and rubbed it gently. “Shh… breathe.” He was scaring her. “Breathe.”
He took a deep breath, but it only seemed to make matters worse. Y/n had never seen him like this before. “What’s wrong?”
“Idon’twanttobelikehimandI’mturningintohimandI—” he sobbed uncontrollably.
She slipped her free hand into his. “Slow down. Take a deep breath.” Her eyes were starting to water a bit.
“I-I’m t-t-turning in-to my fath-ther.”
“Sweetheart.” She shook her head slightly.
“Yo-you-you…” He continued to hyperventilate. “you said I wa-as b-b-eing qui-et and di-stan-t. Ever s-ince I-I’ve be-en Head of th-the Man-or, I ju-jus-t—” His breaths quickened again.
Y/n wrapped her arms around him tightly. “Draco…” She rubbed his back in different patterns.
He laid his head on her shoulder, still breathing harshly. “I do-on’t want to-o b-be like h-h-him. He’s c-cold. He-e’s dist-ant. And, now I-I am.”
“No you’re not.”
“Yes I am.”
“If you were, you would have pushed me away by now.” She sighed.
He finally could complete full words. “I didn’t because I love you, and you make me feel better.”
“Then why didn’t you come get me?”
“Because I didn’t want to wake you up.”
She let go of him and looked into those silver eyes of his. She gazed at him for a moment, unsure of what to say.
“I know you don’t sleep well on Sunday nights, and I didn’t want to wake you up and make you even more tired in the morning.”
She stroked his cheek with her thumb. “You’re nothing like your father.” Her voice was breaking a bit.
“No you’re not!” She sniffled. “If you were, you wouldn’t be awake right now. You wouldn’t be overthinking everything that came to your mind. You wouldn’t care about anything.”
“But I don’t!”
“Draco…” A tear rolled down her cheek. “But you do. You care so much. You didn’t even wake me up because you were afraid I’d be mad at you for making me more tired.” She sniffled again. “You know I’m always tired.” she giggled, still crying a bit.
He did the same. “Yeah.”
“What brought on all this?”
“Well,” he began, “I had a dream the other night that I became Head of the Manor, and you broke up with me because I was turning into my father. I didn’t want to talk about it, because I didn’t know how to explain it, but it’s all I could think about. So, I just stayed quiet, and then you said I was being distant, and I thought everything was really happening.” He looked into her y/e/c eyes. “I just didn’t want to lose you.”
Y/n stayed silent.
“I love you.” he said, just before placing his lips on hers. He pulled her closer with each movement. His cheeks were sticky from the tears that had not yet dried.
“You need sleep.” y/n whispered after pulling away slightly.
“I don’t know if I can.”
She slowly moved out of Draco’s grip and stood up. “Come on.” She reached for his hand and waited for him to get up.
They walked up the stairs and into y/n’s room. Y/n went to her dresser and pulled out one of Draco’s sweatshirts along with an oversized pair of pink fleece pajama pants. “Here.” she smiled, handing it to him. “I’m pretty sure sleeping in your uniform would be uncomfortable.”
Draco didn’t mind changing in front of her. All the other girls were asleep, so they wouldn’t know. He really didn’t want to leave her room anyway. “I like these pants.” he joked quietly.
“That’s the only pair I could find.”
He slid into her bed. “They’re really comfy.”
Y/n giggled. “They are.” She neatly folded his clothes and set them on her desk, getting into bed just after.
Draco held her close. “Sorry for keeping you up all night.”
She rubbed the back of his shoulder. “Don’t be.”
“If I ever start to act like my father, will you let me know?”
“If that ever happens, I will.” She nuzzled her head against his chest. “But, I highly doubt that you’ll ever have to worry about that.”
It came from the depths of the ocean! Millions of years on the bottom of the sea have transformed the small squid into a rampaging monstrosity ready to destroy America! Guaranteed terror! SQUID ATTACK! Watch at the nearest cinema!
Today’s Episode: The Vampire Squid
No, don’t be afraid, they don’t actually drink blood… as far as we know.
We already talked about the fact that the bottom of the ocean houses some of the most bizarre, outworldly and terrifying monstrosities on this earth. If this goes even for the creatures considered to be less threatening, such as isopods, what do the epitomes of nautical awesome and inspiration of oh so many cheesy 60s horror movies, cephalopods get warped into down there?
The answer, naturally, is that they get warped into this.
This is the Vampyrotheutis infernalis. That name literally translates to Vampire Squid from Hell. You remember the part where science is hard cold fact and doesn’t let itself be affected by emotions? Well, you can throw that out to the dumpster, because this unholy bastard child of Cthulhu and Béla Lugosi freaked biologists out so hard that they decided to name it Vampire Squid from Hell.
Actually, the name “squid” is largely a formality - this thing is neither an octopus, nor a squid. It’s so strange and unplaceable in cephalopodic taxonomy that, after years of frantically searching up and down the cephalopod family tree, they managed to dig up an order of long-extinct Krakenesque monstrosities known as Vampyromorphida and place it there.
This is the Leptotheutis gigas, one of its alleged cousins. I don’t know about you guys, but as far as I know, animals are usually named “gigas” for a reason.
Aaaaand crash and burn. Considering that the vampire squid is only 30 centimeters long, this thing can be considered downright colossal.
Now, consider that all these creepy betentacled fucks died out, and the sole survivor of the entire nightmarish order is a relatively small “squid”.
Common sense dictates that all the omnicidal, dripping, primordial evil of the Vampyromorphida is likewise present in vampire squid, only in higher density, because they’re smaller.
The squid itself lives a fairly slow-paced life, either because fast movement is power-costly and it’s hard to regenerate energy down there, or because it secretly plots the downfall of human civilization. I subscribe to the latter theory.
Notably, it lives in a depth of approximately 800 fucking meters, giving all the better-known hardass deep-sea monsters such as the anglerfish or the pelican eel a run for their money. To put this in context: oxygen is so rare down there that the water is theoretically unfit to support areobic life. In simpler terms, the water is so oxygen-poor that the only things that are supposed to be able to survive there are bacteria for whom oxygen is explicitly harmful. And yet the vampire squid can survive in these mind-boggling depths, and has absolutely zero problem breathing in water with an oxygen saturation of just 3%. Three. Percents. Three. An oxygen level that low wouldn’t only cause a human to die at superluminal speeds, it probably wouldn’t even be enough for his body to start rotting. And this dark, slimy piece of shit just dilly-dalles along in nearly no oxygen. God dammit.
It also has these little earlike fins on its head body it flaps to move around, because once again, using the mega-awesome bionic jet engine most cephalopods use would be to damn costly in energy. However, this makes the vampire squid not only an outlandish hybrid of Count Dracula and a Great Old One of your choosing, but an outlandish hybrid of Count Dracula, said Great Old One and Dumbo.
Let’s talk about the bioluminescence, shall we? Because this guy is covered head to toe in bioluminescent photophores. Not only that, it releases a bioluminescent fluid instead of ink in order to fuck with potential predators and its eyes glow with different colors.
Epileptic disco squid. Yum.
As if all these defensive tactics weren’t already enough, the vampire squid takes defence to the level of a crazy survivalist hoarding shotguns in his toolshed in case the President turns evil and declares martial law. Namely, they turn their webbed umbrella-like tentacles inside out until they become the deep-sea equivalent of Sonic the Hedgehog, that is, a fleshy ball of spikes that kill you to death if you as much as touch them. Well, that’s what this sneaky little fucker wants you to believe, even though the spikes are completely harmless.
ok so some people are all like ‘oh the slytherin common room is so creepy like under the lake? that is so dreary’ but hear me out
The common room windows show the lake and the fish and stuff right so it’d be pitch dark at night but say one particularly talented young lass and/or fellow whips up something in potions or transfiguration or something to turn the giant squid