11 Remarkably Cool Squids


Sometimes, evolution has a field day. Invertebrates don’t come much wilder than squids, yet most people have only ever heard of the “giant” variety. So strap on a scuba tank, and let’s take a look at eleven equally-amazing cephalopods you might not know about.

1. Cock-Eyed Squid (Histioteuthis sp.)

Most animals are symmetrical. But the eyes of these deep-sea invertebrates are almost comically disproportionate: the left is usually over twice as big as the right and bulges out of the squid's head. 

2. Humboldt Squid (Dosidicus gigas)


Several unwary fishermen and divers have been attacked over the years off the shores of southwestern North America by 6-foot, multi-armed predators nicknamed “red devils.” In recent decades, they’ve starred in an onslaught of sensationalist basic cable documentaries with titles like Man-Eating Super Squid. Despite this publicity, it’s inaccurate to merely write off Dosidicus gigas as a “killing machine” and the creatures are now hugely important to marine conservation efforts.

3. Glass Squid (Family: Cranchiidae)

Wikimedia Commons

Tentacled and nearly transparent, it’s incredible to think that life on our own planet can look so alien. Stranger still are the organs known as photophores which emit tiny patches of light on some species as they navigate the inky depths.

4. Bigfin Squid (Magnapinna sp.)

If you thought the last entry looked like something out of a Steven Spielberg flick, check out the eerie footage above, captured by the crew of an oil drill back in 2007. It was filmed a mile and a half below the surface and features a member of the rarely-seen Magnapinna genus noted for having bent “elbows” on each arm.

5. Colossal Squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni)

No it’s not the giant squid (Architeuthis sp.). It’s even bigger… at least mass-wise. Although some internet sources have grossly overestimated the colossal squid’s length, adult specimens can weigh in at half a ton and boast the largest eyes in the animal kingdom. And oh yeah, their tentacles come with swiveling hooks for good measure.

6. Bush-Club Squid (Grimalditeuthis bonplandi)

This one scores points in the “sneakiness” category. A fairly large squid, the Bush-Club is named for a pair of long, skinny tentacles with fish-shaped bulbs on each tip. These are held far away from the body and seem to move on their own, doubtlessly attracting hapless prey in the process. 

7. Grimaldi Scaled Squid (Lepidoteuthis grimaldii)

Wikimedia Commons

Cephalopods and Monacan royalty might sound like an odd pairing. But Prince Albert I was an amateur teuthologist (squid scientist) whose hobbies included sifting through the “precious regurgitations” of sperm whales for specimens. The distinctive “scales” which cover much of this species’ flesh caught his eye and it was later named for the elite house of Grimaldi to which he belonged.

8. Whiplash Squid (Family: Mastigoteuthidae)


Thousands of tiny suckers give a pair of slender feeding tentacles a flypaper-like consistency with which a member of this genus may snag its next meal (usually a sand-dwelling crustacean).

9. Market Squid (Doryteuthis opalescens)

Wikimedia Commons

True, its common name isn’t particularly exciting. But apart from being widely used as calamari, the market squid is turning heads because of its remarkable color-changing ability that’s inspired engineers to investigate technological adaptations. However, Doryteuthis opalescens is just one of several cephalopods that can blend into its environment so effectively.

10. Japanese Flying Squid (Todarodes pacificus)

Hokkaido University

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a… squid? The Japanese flying squid launches itself into the air and can glide over a distance of 65 feet thanks to an incredible water-based jet propulsion system.

11. Octopoteuthis deletron


In lieu of vertebrate sex organs, cephalopod mating usually involves males latching sperm packets onto the sides of their partners, to be fertilized later. But because their vision is impaired by living so far below the reach of sunlight, Octopoteuthis can’t always discern which gender is which. As one researcher put it, males therefore “routinely and indiscriminately mates with both [sexes]”, hoping at least a few of them will have been females. 


From Snoopy to Shark Bait: The Top Slang Word in Each State

There’s a minute, and then there’s a hot minute. Defined as “a longish amount of time,” this unit of time is familiar to Alabamians but may stir up confusion beyond the state’s borders.

It’s Louisianans, though, who feel the “most misunderstood,” according to the results of a survey regarding regional slang by PlayNJ. Of the Louisiana residents surveyed, 72 percent said their fellow Americans from other states—even neighboring ones—have a hard time grasping their lingo. Some learned the hard way that ordering a burger “dressed” (with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mayo) isn’t universally understood, nor is the phrase “to pass a good time” (instead of “to have” a good time).

After surveying 2000 people (with proportional numbers from each state), PlayNJ created a map showing the top slang word in each state. Many are words that are unlikely to be understood beyond state lines, but others—like California’s bomb (something you really like) and New York’s deadass (to be completely serious)—have spread well beyond their respective borders thanks to memes and internet culture.

Hawaiians are also known for their distinctive slang words, with 71 percent reporting that words like shaka (hello) and poho (waste of time) are frequently misunderstood. Shark bait, one of the state’s more colorful terms, refers to tourists who are so pale that they attract sharks.

Check out the full list below and test your knowledge of regional slang words with PlayNJ’s online quiz.

A chart showing the top slang words in each state
20 States With the Highest Rates of Skin Cancer

They don’t call it the Sunshine State for nothing. Floridians get to soak up the sun year-round, but that exposure to harmful UV rays also comes with consequences. Prevention magazine reported that Florida has the highest rate of skin cancer in the U.S., according to a survey by Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS).

BCBS surveyed 9 million of its insured members who had been diagnosed with skin cancer between 2014 and 2016 and found that Florida had the highest rate of skin cancer at 7.1 percent. People living in eastern states tend to be more prone to skin cancer, and diagnoses are more common among women.

Here are the 20 states with the highest rates of skin cancer:

1. Florida: 7.1 percent
2. Washington, D.C.: 5.8 percent
3. Connecticut: 5.6 percent
4. Maryland: 5.3 percent
5. Rhode Island: 5.3 percent
6. Vermont: 5.3 percent
7. North Carolina: 5.2 percent
8. New York: 5 percent
9. Massachusetts: 5 percent
10. Colorado: 5 percent
11. Arizona: 5 percent
12. Virginia: 5 percent
13. Delaware: 4.8 percent
14. Kentucky: 4.7 percent
15. Alabama: 4.7 percent
16. New Jersey: 4.7 percent
17. Georgia: 4.7 percent
18. West Virginia: 4.5 percent
19. Tennessee: 4.5 percent
20. South Carolina: 4.4 percent

It may come as a surprise that sunny California doesn’t make the top 20, and Hawaii is the state with the lowest rate of skin cancer at 1.8 percent. Prevention magazine explains that this could be due to the large population of senior citizens in Florida and the fact that the risk of melanoma, a rare but deadly type of skin cancer, increases with age. People living in regions with higher altitudes also face a greater risk of skin cancer due to the thinner atmosphere and greater exposure to UV radiation, which explains why Colorado is in the top 10.

The good news is that the technology used to detect skin cancer is improving, and researchers hope that AI can soon be incorporated into more skin cancer screenings. To reduce your risk, be sure to wear SPF 30+ sunscreen when you know you’ll be spending time outside, and don’t forget to reapply it every two hours. 

[h/t Prevention]


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