In late 2020, a group of ocean scientists, journalists, and filmmakers set out on a mission to examine the depths of the Red Sea. They discovered not just a colossal shipwreck but also an enormous animal called “The Giant Squid.”
“All of a sudden, as we’re looking at the bow of the shipwreck, this massive creature comes into view, takes a look at the ROV [remotely operated vehicle] and curls its entire body around the bow of the wreck,” said Mattie Rodrigue, OceanXplorer science program lead.
In Sept. 2021, the scientists discovered that the enigmatic creature was ‘the giant form’ of the purple back flying squid, which only grows up to two feet in length.
“The Giant Squid” was spotted while they were investigating the “Pella,” which sank in Nov. 2011, at a depth of 2,800 feet while it was on its way to the Egyptian port of Nuweiba.
While transporting 1,229 passengers, the 485-foot-long ship caught fire off the coast of Aqaba, Jordan, resulting in one fatality.
The OceanXplorer, a research ship equipped with a 40-ton crane for launching submersibles, towing sonar arrays, and other substantial equipment into the depths, was sailed to the Red Sea by the OceanX team.
In Sept. 2020, OceanXplorer had just begun its mission when the enormous creature swam into the picture while the researchers used an underwater robot to cruise around the wreck.
According to NOAA zoologist Dr. Michael Vecchione, the mysterious monster was a massive version of the purple back flying squid.
“In the area that you’re operating, in the Red Sea, there’s a well-known population of those,” Vecchione said according to the Daily Mail.
“They get really big. I think what you’re seeing is what’s the giant form of Sthenoteuthis,” he went added.
According to Vecchione, the size of the animal’s fin in comparison to its body indicates that it is not a giant squid.
In contrast to a giant squid’s enormous and muscular fins, the purple back flying squid fins are short and broad, forming an arrowhead shape.
Gigantic squids which can reach a length of 66 feet are rarely seen.
During subsequent dives, the researchers saw the same squid or others that looked like it.
OceanX is an organization dedicated to ocean research, discovery, outreach, and conservation. To find out “how do species in the Red Sea thrive where others would die?” was the purpose of their mission in the Red Sea.
According to Cnet, biologists identified giant animals such as squids as well as climate-change-resistant reefs.
Even if the thing Rodrigue saw was not a famous gigantic squid, it was a breathtaking and surprising sight and considered a genuine deep-sea marvel.