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Nautilus Live surprises a Translucent Cockatoo Squid

During an August 2017 exploration of Quinault Canyon off the coast of Washington State, Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus explorers witnessed a translucent cockatoo squid for just over a minute. Watch video of the encounter above.

Known as glass squid or cockatoo squid, the common names suit this uncommon-looking cephalopod that floats thanks to an ammonia-filled body. Taonius borealis is a deep sea cephalopod commonly found North Pacific Ocean, seen to a max length of 50cm (20in). Its transparent body clearly reveals a cigar-shaped digestive gland, though color-changing chromatophores flash reddish hues to help the squid blend in. Carrying tentacles above its head, the squid generally looks straight ahead, but can also direct its eyes laterally, giving its cockatoo-like appearance an extra googly-eyed flair.

The EVNautilus channel on YouTube is dedicated to broadcasting live video from their seafloor expeditions. You can also find their videos and more info at

Watch all kinds of squid videos on this site, too, including a green-eyed squid, a Magnapinna squid, and a giant, transparent squid egg mass.

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