Meet Nukumi, the 17-foot great white shark ‘Queen of the Ocean’

True, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but you can’t ignore her battle scars and years worth of knowledge. Just look at the beautiful ol’ gal!

Nukumi, the 17-foot long great white shark found off Nova Scotia, is roughly 50 years old.
Credit: OCEARCH/Chris Ross

Researchers off the coast of Nova Scotia have found and tagged the biggest great white shark they’ve ever spotted in the Atlantic off Canada. She is over 17-feet long, 3,541 pounds, and roughly 50 years old. She has been dubbed “The Queen of the Ocean.” Rightfully so.

OCEARCH, a non-profit marine research organization, has tagged and collected samples from hundreds of sharks, dolphins, seals and other animals.

According to the OCEARCH website, Nukumi, pronounced noo-goo-mee, is named after the legendary wise old grandmother figure of the Native American Mi’kmaq people, a culture that has deep roots in Canadian Maritime provinces.

“When you look at all the healed-over scars and blotches and things that are on her skin, you’re really looking at the story of her life, and it makes you feel really insignificant,” OCEARCH expedition leader Chris Fischer said on Facebook on October 3rd.

It’s highly likely Nukumi is a grandmother herself, much like her namesake. According to Fischer, Nukumi probably had her first litter 30 years ago, and those pups are also making babies.

Nukumi’s samples and tracking data, along with data from the other sharks tagged, will be used to help OCEARCH learn more about migration patterns and previously unknown details about the secretive lives of sharks.

You go, girl. 🦈

Meet Nukumi, the 17-foot great white shark ‘Queen of the Ocean’

Googly-Eyed Stubby Purple Squid Can’t Be Real Life

KS Strange ScienceIf you haven’t smiled yet today, you need to watch this video of researchers aboard Nautilus coming across an adorable googly-eyed cephalopod.
I’m not sure what is better – the actual squid or the crew. Such excitement! It goes a little something like this:

“What IS that?!”

“He has weird eyes.”

“No, no, no. Don’t change the angle, please!”

“It looks like some little kid dropped their toy.”

“Maybe he has eye problems…”

“He looks fake, like Davy Jones.”

“He looks like he has googly-eyes! They look painted on.”

“He is awesome.”

“His eyes are freaking me out…”

“He is cool, Mr. Cuttlefish!”

“Is he a cuttlefish? Octopus? No, cuttlefish. He is a ‘cuddle’ fish.”

From the Nautilus website: ‘The stubby squid (Rossia pacifica) looks like a cross between an octopus and squid, but is more closely related to cuttlefish. The team spotted this Stubby Squid off the coast of California at a depth of 2,950 feet.

This species spends life on the seafloor, activating a sticky mucus jacket and burrowing into the sediment to camouflage, leaving their eyes poking out to spot prey like shrimp and small fish.

Rossia pacifica is found in the Northern Pacific from Japan to Southern California up to 300m, but in addition to the team’s sighting, researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have spotted them at depths of 1,300 m (4,260 ft).’

Nautilus is currently cruising up the California coastline investigating old ship wrecks. How cool is that? Follow them on Twitter for more updates during their mission!

krystian science spaceAren’t Cephalopod’s the greatest? 🐙 Check out more popular Krystian Science posts! Explore ocean photography, news, and exciting discoveries.


This Insane ‘Blue Dragon’ Pokemon-Wannabe Sea Slug Packs a Powerful Sting

KS Strange ScienceAustralia is home to some pretty gnarly creatures, but I’ve never seen one quite this unsettling. Don’t get me wrong, this alien-like sea slug is oddly beautiful – it just gives me chills. Glaucus atlanticus, more commonly known as the “blue dragon,” made headlines this week after washing ashore in Australia.

Blue Dragon

Blue dragon sightings are rare, but they have been known to wash ashore while hunting for prey. The blue dragon is so badass it feeds on the Portuguese man o’ war. MAN O’ WAR! Man o’ war are incredibly poisonous. And, despite popular belief, they are not jellyfish! They are siphonophores; animals made up of a colony of organisms working together.

Their tentacles are one of four organisms, covered in venom-filled nematocysts that they use to paralyze and kill fish. For humans? The man-of-war sting is unbelievably painful, but not often deadly. Blue dragons actually snack on the man o’ war’s toxic stingers. They store the poisons within their own bodies and gain the ability to sting like crazy. Ouch!

The blue dragon is tiny, spending most of its time upside down in the water, riding the surface tension of the water’s surface. But, don’t let its small size fool you – it clearly packs a potent poisonous punch.

The video below was uploaded to Facebook on November 12 by Lucinda Fry, and it already has over 200,000 views! Warning: it’s super creepy. You won’t be able to look away.

This Insane ‘Blue Dragon’ Pokemon-Wannabe Sea Slug Packs a Powerful Sting

World’s First Two-Headed Neon ‘Toxic’ Sea Slug Discovered in Borneo

KS Strange ScienceThis neon two-faced sea slug might look like something you’d find in a sci-fi movie, but it was just found right here on Earth! 🐛

Credit: Caters News Agency
Credit: Caters News Agency

The nudibranch – a soft-bodied, marine gastropod mollusk – was discovered by a diver and a team of film-makers at Kapalai, a sandbar off the coast of Sabah in eastern Malaysian Borneo.

These slugs are part of the species nembrotha kubaryana, but are commonly known as neon sea slugs due to their bright orange and green pattern – which warns predators of their toxicity.

The two-headed oddity was found by dive master Nash Baiti while making a new film series called ‘Borneo from Below.’ This amazing slug’s alien malformation was most likely caused by a gene mix up or damage from pollution.

Clay Bryce, a nudibranch expert and marine biologist at the Western Australian Museum in Perth said, ‘I have never seen another two headed marine creature like this before and I have spent 10,000 hours underwater chasing nudibranchs.’

Maybe it’s just me, but I think this one-of-a-kind neon slug is pretty cute! 😝

World’s First Two-Headed Neon ‘Toxic’ Sea Slug Discovered in Borneo

Rare Massive Colossal Squid Caught on Camera Trying to Steal Fish in Russia

KS_LOGOs2_UnderwaterRussian fishermen were left stunned when a massive colossal squid tried to steal the latest catch off the side of their boat – and it was all caught on video! 🐙

Michael Vecchione, an adjunct scientist at NOAA’s National Systematics Lab and giant squid expert, told The Huffington Post the creature seen in the video below is in fact a colossal squid, not a giant squid. This can be a tough call to make given that the cephalopod relatives are both mythical creatures of the deep, rarely seen alive.

Colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) are slightly shorter than giant squid (Architeuthis dux), but have a larger, heavier body. Giant squid live deep underwater and manage to avoid human contact – for the most part. The largest giant squid ever recorded by scientists was almost 43 feet (13 meters) long, and may have weighed nearly a ton. YIKES.

Watch the crazy colossal squid footage below – published to YouTube on July 23!

Rare Massive Colossal Squid Caught on Camera Trying to Steal Fish in Russia

This Cute Pac-Man Ghost Octopus Needs a Name: Scientist Suggests ‘Adorabilis’

KS_LOGOs2_UnderwaterThis adorable seven-inch, deep sea octopus is a species rarely seen by humans. In fact, very little is known about the life history of these animals. They are small, fragile, and gelatinous, with relatively large eyes. The funny thing is they don’t have a name yet!

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 1.44.26 PM
(Left) Pac-Man Ghosts, (Center) flapjack octopus, (Right) Pearl from Finding Nemo

Stephanie Bush, a postdoctoral fellow at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), is researching this cartoony creature and has the difficult task of finding it an appropriate name. Until they know what to formally call it, researchers are simply referring to it as the “flapjack octopus,” which belongs with its cousins in the Opisthoteuthis family.

“I was thinking about what my options are [for naming it], and I wanted it to be something indicative of the characteristic of the species. Since they’re so cute, I thought I could name it the Opistoteuthis adorabilis,” Bush told ABC News.

They have a well defined web just under their tentacles that allows them to parachute around the water. The fins above their eyes helps them steer!

In their exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, these un-described cephalopods live in a tank specially designed to imitate the cold, low-oxygen environment of their deep-sea habitat.

The image below shows the flapjack octopus (Opisthoteuthis sp.) on exhibit. Researchers use a red light to display this species because the octopus can’t see red light. This makes it think it’s safe in the darkness of the deep sea, just like its natural habitat.

Researchers use a red light to display this species. Since the octopus can’t see red light, it thinks it’s in the darkness of the deep sea, its natural environment. IMAGE: Monterey Bay Aquarium
Researchers use a red light to display this species. Since the octopus can’t see red light, it thinks it’s in the darkness of the deep sea, its natural environment. IMAGE: Monterey Bay Aquarium

Bush and her MBARI team collected about 15 specimens last year using a remotely-operated vehicle along Monterey Canyon in the eastern Pacific. Those little guys now live at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

For more information about the flapjack octopus check out this awesome ‘Science Friday’ video! 🐙

This Cute Pac-Man Ghost Octopus Needs a Name: Scientist Suggests ‘Adorabilis’