A mysterious giant squid, known to be lurking in the deepest and darkest corners of the ocean, has been spotted for the first time in Australian waters.
The bigfin squid, or Magnapinna, has large fins that make their body appear as wide as it is long.
Their tentacles are also much longer than other squid species and they can bend them like a human would with an elbow.
Their sprawling filaments are retractable and have suckers, which are likely used for feeding.
Deborah Osterhage was part of the CSIRO team who made the discovery at a depth of over 2200 meters while they were surveying with cameras under a ship.
“I knew exactly what it was when I saw it, probably because I’m a bit of a deep-sea fanatic,” Ms. Osterhage told New Scientist.
He said the squid were spotted multiple times during subsequent surveys, and the team was able to see differences in body ratio and length to confirm that they were actually five different squid.
Ms. Osterhage said they are rarely seen anywhere in the world, with only three previously recorded sightings in the Southern Hemisphere.
The researchers measured one of the squid using lasers and determined that it was 1.8 meters long, with its tentacles accounting for 1.68 meters of that length.
Ms. Osterhage said the squid the team saw were at least 300 meters away and more interactions with them are needed to get to know the creature.