Adorable 'stubby squid' gets biologists giggling

(Nautilus / YouTube)
(Nautilus / YouTube)

The deep sea is filled with terrifying, monstrous creatures that we can be glad don't see the light of day. But there are also some really adorable critters, and the stubby squid is one of them.

Off the coast of California, around 900 metres down, the bright purple, googly-eyed squid had marine biologists giggling when it was spotted by a rover attached to the research vessel E/V Nautilus.

"It looks so fake!" one exclaims.

"It's like some little kid dropped their toy."

But it wasn't all mocking - the marine biologists all agreed, "He's awesome".

They initially identified it as a cuttlefish, but it's since been confirmed as a stubby squid (Rossia pacifica). While it looks like a mix between an octopus and a squid, the species is actually more closely related to the cuttlefish, the Nautilus team says.

And its freakish eyes, pointed out by the biologists, are so that it can burrow into the sea floor to hide, while its eyes stay poking out to keep a look out for food.

The encounter was streamed online as the E/V Nautilus explores the ocean floor.

It's not the first odd encounter they've found in the depths. Earlier this month the Nautilus team found a glowing purple orb that some speculated was from outer space.