just so there’s no suspense: today was amazing.

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the ROV was in the water by about 9am and spent the morning and early afternoon doing transects of 10 minutes, every 100m down to 1000m.   these videos will later be annotated, databasing every animal encountered, contributing to a time series that’s been gathered here for sixteen years so far.  we saw jellies, krill, giant larvaceans (the size of your finger, which is huge for a larvacean), and yes, squid.   first a beautiful Histioteuthis heteropsis, all bejeweled and twinkly; then a few zippy little Gonatus; several ponderous Taonius paused to ogle us with their eerie alien eyes; and finally a similar-looking Galiteuthis, with lovely little hooks on the tentacle clubs.  we also visited ‘octopus rock,’ a site in about 1400m of water where deep-sea Graneledone are often spotted, and we were in luck: three of them were home!  i can’t fully explain what it means to someone who’s used to looking at these animals preserved in jars, opaque and shrunken with time (sometimes collected several centuries earlier), to have the chance to watch them drift by under their own power, flashing their chromatophores and light organs and watching you right back.  i think i could fall in love with them again every single day.

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