September 26th, 2008

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Squid Suckers: The Little Monsters That Feed the Beast

First time poster; my first reaction to this picture was definitely WTF?!

Little Shop of Horrors fans may see a resemblance to the bloodthirsty plant from the 1986 movie in the above electron micrograph image.
Drexel University doctoral student Jessica Schiffman won an honorable mention in photography in the 2008 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge for capturing what's actually an array of suckers found on the tentacles of a long-finned squid.

Each sucker--about 400 micrometers wide, or a little smaller than the width of a human hair--is surrounded with "fangs" of chitin, a hard organic material.

Squid use their powerful suckers to secure unwitting prey and feed their robust appetites--much like the horror-movie plant that inspired the image's color scheme.

Source: National Geographic

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So apparently there are lakes of super-saline water at the bottom of the ocean.

"During the Jurassic period the waters here were shallow and became cut off from the ocean. The area soon dried out, leaving a thick layer of salt and other minerals up to 8km thick. When ocean water returned after the region rifted apart, the super-saline layer at the bottom of the Gulf became an underwater lake. Now brine, which is continually released from a rift in the ocean floor, feeds the lake."

Sources: and

Sorry if this is a's new to me.