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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Alien Squid filmed by Shell

"Now that's what I call a close encounter!"
Will Smith's words in that God Bless America travesty of a movie Independence Day.

And the same can be said for Shell Oil's deep sea drilling crew who captured the amazing video below of a deep sea squid that bears a striking resemblance to one of the aliens in that movie.

The video of the mythical sea creature, which has only recently come to light, was taken 18 months ago.

A drilling crew aboard the Noble Clyde Boudreaux was using a ROV to recover the drill string for a well in 7,828 feet of water in Alaminos Canyon, in the Gulf of Mexico when the bizarre creature came into view.

Squid researcher Dr. Michael Vecchione said the film was important because the family of squid was only discovered in 2001.There have been other sightings at similar depths in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans.

He said: “Every time we get a video observation like this one, it adds another piece to the puzzle.”

Meanwhile, in a second bit of footage from Shell, a sleeper shark was filmed in the Perdido area of the western Gulf of Mexico by an ROV inspecting subsea equipment drilling gear.

The footage shows the shark as it slowly swims near the wellhead approximately 33 feet above the sea floor. The shark then ascends approximately seven feet before leveling off and slowly swimming away from the wellhead and out of sight.

The 24 seconds of video is now considered a record-breaking discovery for marine science as it was the deepest record ever for a Greenland sleeper shark (the well is 8,700ft beneath the waves) and the first report of a sleeper shark within the Gulf of Mexico.

A technical paper detailing the finding has been accepted for publication in The Bulletin of Marine Science.

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