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WHAT WERE ONCE MONSTERS

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Reprinted from the NOAA website: Earthsky.org
“What were once monsters to be feared are now curious and magnificent creatures that delight.
We like to feel that science and exploration has brought about this change.”
NOAA researchers released a video available on our Facebook page -https://www.facebook.
com/ThePostNewsp/ on June 21, 2019, while announcing that – for only the second time ever – they’d captured a giant squid on camera. Nathan Robinson was one of the scientists
on a NOAA-funded expedition to the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The team was about 100 miles (160 km) southeast of New Orleans, at a depth of 2,490 feet (759 meters),
when he saw a tentacle, perhaps 10 to 12 feet (3 meters) long, rising up out of the inky black of his computer screen. At that point, he said, he was “captivated,” adding: “You feel very alive. There’s something instinctual about these animals that captures the imagination of everyone – the wonder that there are these huge animals out there on our planet that we know so little about, and that we’ve only caught on camera a couple of times.” The squid appeared to wrap its tentacles around the NOAA underwater stealth camera called the MEDUSA before quickly swimming
away. Scientists cited the creature’s behavior as a normal reaction any animal would have to what, at first, appeared to be prey.
The scientists on the ship sent the footage to Mike Vecchione, a NOAA Fisheries zoologist and an octopus-and-squid expert, who said he was “nearly certain” that it was a squid of the genus Architeuthis – a giant squid. NOAA explained:
‘Giant squid’ is a term that’s sometimes used to describe a range of larger squid specimens, but scientifically … only squids of the genus Architeuthis can be considered giant squid. The benchmark is taxonomy, rather than size – it’s either genetically a giant squid or not. People will refer to other things as giant squids, but cephalopod biologists don’t.
Edie Widder, chief executive officer of the Ocean Research & Conservation Association and the developer of the MEDUSA technology, said: “In the video, we could clearly see that it was visually tracking the electronic jellyfish, which was very exciting to be able to observe.”
NOAA also pointed out that that giant squids are “not uncommon” creatures. They wash ashore fairly regularly off the coast of northern Spain, because the noise involved in oil exploration there can be lethal to them. But viewing one in its natural habitat is rare, and NOAA called it: … a testament to the contributions ocean exploration is making to the public understanding of the ocean.
Bottom line: A NOAA-funded expedition has captured rare footage of a giant squid in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s the second time a giant squid has been captured on camera in its deep water habitat.

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