American scientists have made rare footage showing a very rare species of squid. In nature, he was met no more than 20 times.

The ghostly large-finned Magnapinna squid with huge fins (hence the second name, bigfin squid) is rarely seen. Recently, however, scientists from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) succeeded. They snapped stunning footage of the elusive animal on an expedition to the Gulf of Mexico.

To date, fewer than 20 confirmed sightings of this deep-sea cephalopod have been recorded. Scientists spotted the elusive squid during their recent “Window to the Depth 2021” expedition, which explored the poorly understood deep sea in the western Atlantic Ocean off the southeastern United States. While filming underwater near West Florida, marine biologists noticed a set of slender blue tentacles of a “ghost” squid next to a remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

Mike Vecchione, a research zoologist at NOAA and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, was flying the ROV over satellite when a large-finned squid came into view. According to a report published in the South African Journal of Marine Science, he and Richard E. Young of the University of Hawaii first described the squid family Magnapinnidae in 1998. Since then, three species of large-finned squid have become known, but according to the NOAA, there may be many more and scientists have yet to find them.

Magnapinna is a genus of deep-sea squid from the order Oegopsida. They were found in the Atlantic, Indian (south of Mauritius) and Pacific oceans at different depths, from 1940 m to 2576 m. The body length, including arms, reaches 8 m, the length of the tentacles is 15–20 times the length of the mantle. The great fin Magnapinna accounts for up to 90% of the length of the mantle.