The Squid Whisperer Strikes Again!

Gulf of Mexico, Wednesday, June 19, 2019: Dr. Edith Widder and Nathan Robinson called out into the deep to see what would answer. Something did, in a very big way. A GIANT SQUID!

This is only the second time a living giant squid has ever been caught on camera. And both times the videographer was Dr. Edith Widder. Both times Dr. Widder’s special deep-sea camera system, called the Medusa, did what no ROV or submersible has been able to do.

The Medusa is a stealth camera system that captures video footage in the deep. Because the Medusa uses red lights that are invisible to most deep-sea inhabitants and has no noise-generating thrusters, it can serve as a stealthy observer of light and life below the twilight zone. (It’s design is to be unobtrusive, unlike an ROV or submersible.)

How do you call a squid? Lights. In the deep, most animals use light. Animals use bioluminescence to find food,  communicate, and escape danger. The lights on the Medusa recreate the alarm lights of an atolla jellyfish. When startled, this jellyfish puts on a light show that beats anything in Vegas. Scientists believe the light show, like a car alarm, catches the attention of other predators. If the jellyfish is lucky, a larger predator will swoop in and eat whatever was trying to eat it. That allows the atolla jellyfish to slip away into the dark.

The Medusa uses specially designed lights that mimic the color and pattern of the atolla’s glowing scream for help.

Science Team member and cephalopod expert, Dr. Heather Judkins (University of South Florida St. Petersburg) quickly identified it as a giant squid — a 10-12 foot long juvenile giant squid.

This exciting discovery, and the on-going research in the Gulf of Mexico midnight zone (below 1,000 meters/3,280 feet) are part of the “Journey into Midnight: Light and Life Below the Twilight Zone” research cruise funded by NOAA’s Office of Exploration and Research.

Read more about this exciting news: Here Be Monsters: We Filmed a Giant Squid in America’s Backyard

K-6 teachers, join WhaleTimes’ this fall for Creep into the Deep: Journey into Midnight and learn more about Dr. Widder (aka the Squid Whisperer), Dr. Judkins…and the rest of this amazing research team and their discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico. Find out more.

Creep into the Deep: Journey into Midnight education program and the Journey into Midnight: Light and Life Below the Twilight Zone research sponsored by NOAA-OER

 

Creep into the DEEPEND Summer Camps!

Creep into the DEEPEND Summer Camps are back!  This summer, Creep into the DEEPEND Summer Camps are offered throughout the country for k-8th grade. To register or find out more, check out the list below and contact the museum or science center near you.

Catawba Science Center Hickory, North Carolina
Liberty Science Center Jersey City, New Jersey
Maine Discovery Museum Bangor, Maine
Museum of Discovery and Science Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Oregon Coast Aquarium’s Oceanscape Network Newport, Oregon
Pacific Science Center Seattle, WA
St. Louis Science Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Tallahassee Museum Tallahassee, Florida
Univ of Michigan Museum of Natural History Ann Arbor, Michigan

For more information, email us: deepend at our website whaletimes.org

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Creep into the DEEPEND Summer Camps Start MONDAY!

Kids around the country will discover the amazing research and researchers from the DEEPEND Consortium. We are excited our Virtual Science Team includes kids and camp leaders from:

 

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Postcard from the DEEPEND: Something Scary for Halloween Pt 2

Did you identify the scariest thing in the sea? Did you guess jelly, ctenophore, or maybe a salp?

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You’d be wrong. One of the scariest things in the sea is trash that escapes from our homes, schools, and lives. If it’s hard for us to identify, you can see why animals like sea turtles, seabirds and others accidently eat trash.

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The DEEPEND Research team aboard the R/V Point Sur, sent us a Postcard from the DEEPEND.

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Join WhaleTimes at the DEEPEND, no floaties required!

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Postcard from the DEEPEND: Something scary for Halloween

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Jellyfish? Ctenophore? Salp? Can you ID this dangerous beast? Check in on Halloween to see if you are correct.

The DEEPEND Research team aboard the R/V Point Sur, sent us a Postcard from the DEEPEND.

Read more Postcards from the DEEPEND

Join WhaleTimes at the DEEPEND, no floaties required!

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Postcards from the DEEPEND: Cool Acoustic Studies

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Joe Warren, part of the DEEPEND Research team aboard the R/V Point Sur, sent us a Postcard from the DEEPEND.

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Join WhaleTimes at the DEEPEND, no floaties required!

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Deep-sea Creatures, they’re so transparent!

This lobster larva is just one of the many amazing creatures our Science Team will share with kids around the country during our Creep into the DEEPEND Virtual Research Mission September 28 to October 9.

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Joins WhaleTimes at the DEEPEND, no floaties required!

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