Animals Video

By Jack Williams


This fascinating footage shows the shimmering beauty of one of the ocean’s transparent squid species.

The cockatoo squid – also known as the glass squid (Taonius borealis) – can be seen making it way through the darkened waters, its inner organs showing while its body glistens.

As well as having a clearly visible digestive gland, the balloon-like squid  retains ammonia solutions inside its body, helping it to float.

Pic by NautilusLive.org / Caters

Found in the dark depths, the glass squid also has colour-changing chromatophores, which flash reddish hues and help the squid blend in.

The footage was taken by staff on the Exploration Vessel Nautilus in the waters of the Quinault Canyon, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, Washington, USA.

Pic by NautilusLive.org / Caters

The E/V Nautilus is operated by the Ocean Exploration Trust and is responsible for deep sea exploration of unknown parts of the ocean to a depth of 4,000 meters.

Footage of the glass squid was captured on August 23, 2017, at a depth of 512 meters (1680 feet).

Samantha Wishnak, digital media coordinator for the E/V Nautilus, said: “While not a rare species, the transparent body and flickering chromatophores (color-changing cells) of this cockatoo squid certainly captured the attention of our team and hundreds of viewers exploring with us on NautilusLive.org.”