Terrifying though it certainly appears, the scarlet-bodied, cloudy-eyed Vampyroteuthis infernalis (aka "vampire squid from hell") isn't the least bit scary from a dietary standpoint.


Via Deep Sea News' R.R. Helm:

The decisive clue to the vampire's kinder nature came in the form of long, stringy tentacles. For decades scientists puzzled over the mystery of these strange appendages. Are they for mating? Defense? No one knew, until scientists observed the squid doing something altogether surprising. It turns out, vampire squid use these tentacles like fishing lines, but they're not catching living prey, they're catching 'snow'. Vampire squid scoop up sinking ocean gunk, known as marine snow, with their thin yellow tentacles, and then suck it off these appendages (like licking your fingers). This gunk includes bits of algae, dead animals, poo and bacteria from the ocean above.


Vampire squid: just misunderstood finger-food tentacle-gunk enthusiasts. More info at Deep Sea News.

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