Also known by the considerably sweeter moniker "strawberry squid" for its pink hue and seed-shaped photophores—little spots on its body that produce light—the cockeyed squid lives 200 to 1,000 meters below the ocean's surface in a region known as the mesopelagic or "twilight" zone. It's deep enough so that whatever sunlight does penetrate from the surface is dimmer than the bioluminescent flashes of the creatures that live there.
To figure out what was going on, biologist Kate Thomas combed through 30 years of footage collected by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute so she could watch how the askew cephalopods behave. She noticed that they swim in an unusual position, with their head pointed down and tentacles pointed up in a nearly vertical orientation. Their big eye is constantly looking up toward the surface, while their small eye is constantly looking down toward the ocean floor. That was a clue that ultimately led Thomas to her conclusion.