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This Cute Googly-Eyed Squid Was Found Off California's Coast

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Explorers aboard the E/V Nautilus ship are at it again.

In July, the team came across a strange, glowing purple blob deep beneath California waters, which they speculated might have been a sea slug.

This time, E/V Nautilus scientists found another purple marine creature off the coast of California: a googly-eyed squid that is just too cute for words.

In a video, researchers expressed their delight upon seeing the creature, which was spotted about 2,950 feet (900 meters) below California waters.

Experts first thought the google-eyed creature was a cuttlefish, but upon investigation, they found that it is actually a stubby squid (Rossia pacifica).

The stubby squid appears like a hybrid between a squid and an octopus.

Like octopuses, the stubby squid mostly lives on the bottom rather than swimming on water.

These animals spend most of their life on the seafloor, and can be found in the Northern Pacific from Japan to Southern California.

The stubby squid possesses eight arms and two tentacles, but it does not have a cuttlebone or quill to support its internal body.

In reality, although scientists say that the Rossia pacifica is called a squid, the creature is actually not a true squid. It is more closely related to the cuttlefish.

The stubby squid swims by using the fins on either side of its body, or by using jet propulsion — taking water into its body cavity and then squirting it out a funnel.

Meanwhile, the creature's bright purple color and huge googly eyes make it appear almost unreal and cartoony.

"It's like some little kid dropped their toy," one of the researchers commented.

But there is an explanation behind its strange, googly eyes. Scientists say that the stubby squid activates a sticky mucus jacket as it burrows into the sediment to camouflage.

As a result, the creature's eyes poke out to spot prey, which includes small fish and shrimp.

In addition to the E/V Nautilus team's sighting, scientists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute have also spotted the stubby squid about 4,260 feet (1,300 meters) underwater.

In Puget Sound, which is situated along the northwestern coast of Washington, scuba divers can see stubby squid on winter nights.

These creatures are also often found discreetly sloped on the bottom of muddy sand in areas that are protected from strong tidal currents. These locations usually hold entrance to greater depths because the stubby squid goes deeper in the summer, researchers said.

Watch the video below to see the team's encounter with the stubby squid.

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