A rare giant squid -- a squid with elbows -- has been sighted in the Houston area.
It's called the Megapinna squid and even the stoic National Geographic says it's "alien-like."
Again, this strange and mysterious animal has been sighted a mere 201-and-a-half miles from downtown Houston.
Fortunately, one-and-a-half of those miles are below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.
National Geographic's website has obtained video of the creature, which apparently has been making the rounds of the energy-industry world (The video, that is, not the creature).
It's a blurry, quick shot taken by a Shell remotely controlled vehicle near a deep drilling site called the Perdido.
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Here's what the magazine says:
Based on analysis of videos not unlike the one captured at the Perdido site, scientists know that the adult Magnapinna observed to date range from 5 to 23 feet (1.5 to 7 meters) long, Vecchione said. By contrast, the largest known giant squid measured about 16 meters (52 feet) long. And whereas giant squid and other cephalopods have eight short arms and two long tentacles, Magnapinna has ten indistinguishable appendages that all appear to be the same length.
Shell engineers have named the basement-dwelling squid "Texans Playoff Chances" in honor of the team's effort this year.
-- Richard Connelly