Deep sea squid found off The Reefs
A squid carcass several feet long that washed up at a beach in Southampton looked so alive that diver Choy Aming had to check to make sure.
The four-foot squid was spotted yesterday morning by his friend Travis Lewis, who was working on decking at The Reefs hotel.
“The body was so fresh that when I hosed it off, the tentacles kept sticking to my hand,” Mr Aming said.
“At first I gave it a little wiggle just to see if it would move; it was that fresh.”
The diamondback squid, Thysanoteuthis rhombus, had probably died that morning. The body retained its distinctive red pigment.
“I knew they exist in the area, but I've never seen one,” he said.
“The egg sac is about three or four feet long and looks like a purple slinky — a lot of time out whale watching I have run across them in the water.”
The squid's red colour indicates that it lives in deep water, Mr Aming said, explaining that redness is a common trait of deep sea creatures, as red is one of the first colours to disappear as light filters into the sea.
“It was probably 40 pounds. It took the two of us to carry it off.” Mr Lewis subsequently drove the squid to the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo for study.
The animals, which are so-called for their shape, frequent depths of around 160ft, but are known to come up near the surface at night. Diamondback squid are found around the world in tropical or subtropical waters.