The strawberry squid (Histioteuthis heteropsis) is a sight to behold. Its bulbous, berry like mantle is decorated with wispy fins that undulate in hypnotic fashion. Below the head, a tangle of peach-hued tentacles twist and straighten. Just above them lies the strawberry squid's most surprising feature: its mismatched eyes. Embedded on one side of its head is a moderately sized, azure eyeball, but on the other, things are quite different. The strawberry squid's left eyeball looks like a glassy, yellow-green marble that protrudes from the cephalopod's crimson head. These unalike eyes may appear odd, but there's a good reason for the adaptation, and it's to do with the squids' deep-sea habitat.

Strawberry squid are one of the most fascinating denizens of the mesopelagic. The footage above was captured 725 metres (2,378 feet) deep in Monterey Canyon by one of MBARI’s remotely operated vehicles (ROV). Like many creatures that dwell in the depths, the strawberry squid – which belongs to a clade of cephalopods known as cock-eyed squid – has developed unique characteristics that help it hunt and survive in dark, deep waters. The incongruously large left eye is adapted to spot shadows cast by potential prey in the dimly lit waters above, while the smaller, right eye looks downward, searching for flashes of bioluminescence created by creatures prowling in the murky abyss. 

The squids' larger eye is also tubular in shape to help collect as much downwelling light as possible and often has a yellow lens to help counter the luminescent camouflage of its prey. In order to put these wonderfully wonky eyes to good use, the strawberry squid adopts a semi-upright posture that allows it to look up and down at the same time.

The fact that the strawberry squid sports a black-speckled, bright-red body is also no accident. Red light does not reach the deep sea (the animal's red hue is only revealed under the lights of the ROV). The squid's crimson colouration allows it effectively hide in the darkness, keeping it safe from predators like whales, swordfish and sharks. The dots that completes the squid's strawberry like appearance are actually photophores – light organs that help the creature mask it's silhouette to avoid detection.