This tiny squid, seen here nestled in the bowl of a plastic spoon, was photographed by Jack Butler earlier this month after it was collected in a net tow by Scripps Oceanography research vessel Sally Ride.
As documented in this post by Melissa Miller, these nighttime net tows were conducted during a recent science verification cruise off the Southern California coast to "ground-truth" the results of R/V Sally Ride's fish-finder echo sounder. Science verification cruises test and confirm the vessel's capabilities for scientific research.
"The density of animals found at a certain depth of water when the net was towed for a known amount of time is matched up to the plots from the echo sounder," Miller writes. "When it’s time to sort and identify the samples, people tend to congregate in the wet lab to see the trays of fish, invertebrates, jellies, and various other interesting, colorful, and often strange critters that were found."
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