This cephalopod's scientific name translates as "vampire squid from hell". Despite the fact that they rarely exceed 1 ft. in length (their average body/mantle length is 6 inches), these squids are indisputably the most horror film-worthy denizen of the ocean's depths. Here are four ways in which the Vampire Squid puts Christopher Lee's "Dracula" character to shame:
(Incidentally, they are fast swimmers; they can cruise along at 2.5 body lengths per second, although they do so rarely. Their bodies are weak and gelatinous, composed of some of the same components as a jelly's, but their well-developed statocyst and large fins allow them speed and agility for short sprints).
One of the greatest challenges the Vampire Squid faces is surviving in the ocean's oxygen minimum layer, a zone of depleted oxygen where aerobic bacteria feed on biomass trickling down from the surface and use up the oxygen from cold bottom-wellings in their metabolism. The Vampire Squid has exceptionally efficient hemocyanins, copper-based respiratory proteins found in the hemolymph that help bind oxygen. This, in combination with high gill surface area and a very low metabolic rate, allows the Vampire Squid to thrive in low-oxygen conditions without having to engage in anaerobic respiration.
For more info on bioluminescence: