There is so much that we don’t know yet about life underwater, but with technological advancements, we’re able to slowly uncover the secrets of the world in the deepest parts of the ocean, including battles between the most ferocious open water predators.
In a photograph taken by photographer Deron Verbeck in Hawaii, evidence of an underwater battle between a giant cephalopod and a shark has been recorded.
According to National Geographic, although tussles between sperm whales and giant deep-sea squids are famous, there is no proof showing any interaction between sharks and giant squids or similar species of these massive cephalopods that could become as equally big as school buses.
That is until Verbeck captured a photo of a shark off the coast of Hawaii in the summer of 2019.
According to the magazine, Verbeck was at Hawaii’s Kona coast when he noticed a shark with an unusual pattern of white dots on its flank, so he shot a photo of the underwater predator to send to scientists to help identify what shark species it was.
However, when he checked the photos on his computer back at home, the photographer had captured something even more significant: the shark had a series of marks that looked like the suction rings of squids.
Even Verbeck himself was astonished by the shot and uploaded it on his official Facebook account.
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A shark ecologist from the Florida International University, Yannis Papastamatiou, saw the photo and immediately contacted the photographer to ask the photographer to pull off the picture from the internet as nobody has seen before.
Nevertheless, Papastamatiou and his colleagues detailed the apparent interaction between the two sea creatures in the Journal of Fish Biology.
Unfortunately, the team of experts can’t be certain what type of giant squid made the marks on the shark’s body, but they are confident that the creature would have to be “something pretty big.”
They also have a few candidates for the culprit behind the suction ring marks, including the giant squid and species under the genera Thysanoteuthis and Megalocranchia.
In addition, the shark ecologist cautions everyone that it is hard to draw any conclusions with a single photograph.
“My main regret is that we never got to see what happened,” he said.
However, the expert does have a couple of theories as to how the scuffle happened, saying that they might have bumped into each other, thus resulting in a battle or that the shark went after the squid in hopes of a meal.
They also theorized that the squid might have started the scuffle, but co-author Heather Bracken-Grissom, a biologist from the Florida International University, said that there are no accounts of squids hunting sharks.
“It is more likely this squid was being attacked by the shark and defending itself,” she told National Geographic.
In addition, the photo evidence and the study may finally offer answers to some shark mysteries, including why they often stay in empty spaces of the ocean.
One theory is that they might be hunting for squids, which is why the recent study would help other experts have more ideas about the interactions between sharks and squids underwater.
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