For a freaky deep-sea marine creature, the vampire squid -- whose Latin name, Vampyroteuthis infernalis, literally means vampire squid from hell -- has few peers.
But it turns out the name isn't quite accurate. The squid do not suck blood. Rather, they capture "floating debris" known as "sea snow" using mucus, according to Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute scientists.
The squid live in deep ocean depths with little oxygen, according to the Contra Costa Times. They have red skin and webbed arms, the newspaper reported.
They float at deep depths, waiting to catch organic material that sinks to the bottom from shallower water. That's the "marine snow," the newspaper reported.
Scientists had long been curious about what these sea freaks ate, but they could only open up captured specimens to examine the contents of their stomachs. It wasn't until vampire squids' eating habits were captured on video by deep-sea exploration vehicles that their mealtime mystery was exploded, the newspaper reported.
These cephalopods survive on a limited diet and using limited oxygen by moving very slowly, the newspaper reported.