May 05, 2021 I Paul Seaburn

How One Group of Scientists Managed to Film a Live Kraken — Twice!

If you’re here for bitcoin advice on the Kraken exchange, you’re come to the wrong place … but stay anyway because this is about something more elusive that the secrets of bitcoin riches – a new study reveals how a group of marine biologists managed to twice capture footage of live Krakens, the giant squids that created the myths of the monsters that ate Norse ships. Before you run out to buy an underwater camera and book a diving trip to Greenland, you may want to find out why it’s so difficult.

“Knowledge of the behaviour, distribution, and abundance of these species is therefore a key component to understanding deep-sea ecosystems.”

According to their new study published in the journal Deep Sea Research Part 1: Oceanographic Research Papers, Nathan J. Robinson of the Cape Eleuthera Institute in the Bahamas and a team of marine biologists were not interested in capturing an ocean myth but saving an ocean itself by studying how 40-foot-long giant squids (Architeuthis dux) live in and contribute to the ever-changing (not necessarily for the better) environment these massive creatures see with their basketball-sized eyes. Ironically, it was those squid eyes that helped the humans see them.


"Many deep-sea species, including squid, have monochromatic visual systems that are adapted to blue [light] and blue bioluminescence rather than long wavelength red-light. Using red light may thus be a less obtrusive method for illuminating deep-sea species for videography."

Past attempts to record live krakens did themselves in by illuminating the water so the ROV cameras could see them. By the time they got to a prime spot, those sensitive basketball eyes had fled. The researchers anticipated this and switched to dim red lights. However, blue light attracted the giant squids, so they equipped their submersible with an arm holding a ring of spinning blue lights that mimicked the kraken’s favorite snack – a fish attacking a bioluminescent jellyfish. That strategy worked in 2012 off the coast of Japan and in 2019 in the Gulf of Mexico. (Handy locations if you want to find -- or avoid -- a Kraken.)

The outstanding photos and videos can be seen here. Are they merely cool or a big deal? You know the answer – so little is known about the Kraken other than legends and dead ones on the beach that any data is a big deal, not just to learn how they live but how to keep them alive.

“Indeed, it is somewhat ironic that A. dux is arguably the most iconic deep-sea species, yet almost nothing is currently known about its conservation status. One of the largest threats A. dux, and many other deep-sea cephalopods, may face is sound pollution. Loud low-frequency sounds, such as those emitted during seismic surveys, can cause significant trauma to cephalopods and the growing global use of seismic surveys has been associated with several stranding of A. dux.”

Throw in pollution and climate change and you have a triple-threat that even the mythical Kraken couldn’t defeat.

Wasn’t that more interesting than ready about bitcoin?

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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