A two-man Greenpeace submarine has been attacked by squids on an expedition in the Bering Sea -- and all the gory details were captured in a Vine.
Michelle StarrScience editor
Michelle Starr is CNET's science editor, and she hopes to get you as enthralled with the wonders of the universe as she is. When she's not daydreaming about flying through space, she's daydreaming about bats.
A pair of Greenpeace submariners have had their own "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" experience on an expedition in the Bering Sea -- in a scaled down sort of way. Rather than the Nautilus and a giant squid, the pair were in a Dual Deep Worker submersible when the encounter occurred.
And their attackers weren't a squid of the giant variety, but a pair of Humboldt squids, nicknamed "jumbo squid" or "red devil" for their famed aggression and the red colour the squids turn when in hunting or attack mode.
Although these squids can get pretty big -- up to 1.9 metres (6.2 ft) in mantle length and up to 50 kg (100 lb) in weight, these guys are relatively titchy -- no longer than a few feet in length, maximum. Their size, however, is no indication of courage: coloured a brilliant red, they have a brave go at the sub before swimming off in a puff of ink.
The Humboldt squid's tentacle suckers are lined with tiny, sharp teeth that can do some serious damage, so the Greenpeace divers were lucky to be protected by the submarine -- though there are some scientists who believe that the cephalopods aren't usually aggressive, and might have been set off in the first place by flashing or bright lights like the one on the Dual Deep Worker.