There are more than 300 identified species of squid on Earth, but there are likely hundreds more species out there we simply haven’t gotten a glimpse of yet. While teuthologists (cephalopod specialists) around the globe are always on the lookout, it’s not very often that a new species simply stumbles into a net, let alone a new species weird enough to merit broad attention. In 1971 the Walther Herwig, a German research vessel, struck oddity gold when it pulled up its nets and found this tiny beauty.
Meet Promachoteuthis sulcus, a deep sea squid that was finally examined and described in 2007. Everything we know about this curiously grinning creature has been learned from the single specimen pictured above. Like other squid, P. sulcus has a beak that it presumably uses to render its unfortunate prey. Unlike other squid, P. sulcus covers its beak with a set of folded lips shaped suspiciously like human dentures. There are other characteristics that distinguish it from similar squid species, of course, but it’s really quite difficult to focus on anything past the nightmare fuel of its gaping maw. No worries though, caught off the coast of Tristan Da Cunha in the South Atlantic, at a depth of 1,875 meters, it’s probably not hiding under your bed.
For more information on Promachoteuthis sulcus, visit the Encyclopedia of Life.
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