From eyes the size of basketballs to appendages that glow, deep-sea dwellers have developed a range of weird and wonderful features to help them survive their cold, dark habitat. But with one tiny eye and one giant, bulging, yellow eye, this bizarre squid has one of the strangest adaptations of all. Researchers have studied the cockeyed sea creature, and believe the lopsided eyes may be an adaptation to allow the squid to see in both light and dark depths. While you might think that two big eyes would be a better strategy for surviving in the dark ocean, the researchers explain that this isn't the case. Kate Thomas, lead author of the study, said: 'Eyes are really expensive to make and maintain.
Fishermen have wondered about the "cock-eyed" squid's mismatched eyes for more than a hundred years. Its bulging left eye is big and yellow, whereas the right eye is much smaller and clear. "They are freaky and weird looking--you want to know what is going on with their eyeballs," says Duke biologist Katie Thomas, who led a new study on the animal, also called the strawberry squid. In the 1970s, Richard Young, a squid biologist, had hypothesized that the larger eye detects dim sunlight, which helps the squid spot prey swimming overhead. But the creatures are difficult to study in their habitat, which can be as far as 3,300 feet deep.
February 13, 2017 --The deep sea has its fair share of quirky creatures equipped with odd features, and the "cockeyed" squid, sporting two different sized eyes, likely doesn't stand out too much among other bottom ocean dwellers. But scientists have never before been able to pinpoint a reason for its two vastly different eyes. But now, researchers from Duke University may have finally nailed down an answer, according to a study published Monday in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. The cockeyed squid, officially known as Histioteuthis heteropsis, has long puzzled researchers. While the species is born with eyes of the same size, its left eye grows rapidly, becoming tube-shaped and sometimes twice the size of its right eye. "You can't look at one and not wonder what's going on with them," Duke University biologist and study co-author Kate Thomas said in a press release.
A thousand feet below the waves, tiny ocean crustaceans known as sea sapphires dance about like microscopic disco balls. But at the water's surface, where they feed, these copepods are all but invisible. Their signature dazzle is derived from tightly packed crystals that lie just below the animals' outermost shell. Made of a chemical compound called guanine, a main component of DNA, these crystals are arranged in a regularly alternating pattern of hexagons that reflect light, according to a 2015 study. "The colors are apparently used by the copepods for signaling and communication," says study leader Lia Addadi, a structural biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.
The world's oceans remain something of a mystery. And, to prove it, one photographer has revealed some of the multi-colour creatures that make up'biological soup' in pitch-black depths of the Pacific waters near Hawaii. From spiny lobsters to swimming windowpanes and purpleback flying squid, the stunning collection also comprises of orange octopus, black cusk eels and so-called sea butterflies. The collection, entitled'Blackwater ID', is the nocturnal work of Jeff Milisen. He said: 'For the uninitiated, an abundant layer of animals live their days very deep in an area called the mesopelagic, where it is too dark to be seen.