Out of the darkness of the deep, inky clouds take shape

When startled, a squid may leave behind a shroud of ink. This decoy creates a distraction so the squid can jet to safety. Deep-sea squids produce ink shapes of many diverse forms—clouds, streams, dots, ropes, and more. These animal-look-alike shapes are known as pseudomorphs. We do not know whether the squids are intentionally mimicking other animals, but the similarities to other deep-sea animals are striking. MBARI’s remotely operated vehicles give us a glimpse into the fascinating lives of deep-sea animals. Residents of the midnight zone thrive in some of the harshest conditions on Earth, but now their home faces a rising tide of threats. By working to understand deep-sea animals and their remarkable adaptations, we hope to learn how they will navigate a changing ocean.

Dragons lurk in dark depths

MBARI researchers captured this shimmering highfin dragonfish, Bathophilus flemingi, in stunning ultra high-definition 4K video.