Behold the Vampire Squid from Hell

“Vampire Squid from Hell” sounds like a low budget horror movie from the 1950s.  It isn’t. It is a small cephalopod which lives in the deep oceans.

There are two important things that one should know about the species with the scientific nameVampyroteuthis infernalis, which means, literally, the “vampire squid from hell.”  The creature is not a vampire. Nor is it a squid. Despite the confused taxonomy, the vampire squid is a strange and wonderful creature in its own right.

The vampire squid is neither squid nor octopus but a more primitive form of cephalopod, virtually a living fossil,  dating back to a time before the squid and octopus split into separate orders.  The vampire squid is only about a foot long and lives in deep water in temperate oceans.  It is no bloodsucker. It eats “marine snow,” organic detritus drifting down from the upper layers of the water column.  Apparently, the creature’s jet-black to pale reddish body was the basis for the vampiric name. 

The Vampire Squid From Hell

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