Vampire squid

Vampyroteuthis infernalis

Fascinating Facts

  • Vampire squids are about the color, shape, and size of a football.
  • They don’t ink! They emit a bioluminescent fluid that can glow for up to 10 minutes.
  • They have the largest eyes – proportionate to body size – in the animal kingdom.
  • Contrary to most squid and octopus behavior, vampire squids wait for their food to come to them.
  • When threatened, they “pumpkin,“ with their caped arms over their body, presenting a large, fearsome, spiney mass.


Usually found at depths between 4,500 to 7,500 feet– so deep, there is little to no light or oxygen and temperatures are between 35-42 degrees Fahrenheit. They are the only cephalopods known to not eat living matter – instead, they eat dead plankton and fecal pellets that drift through the water.

Status in the Wild

Not yet assessed by IUCN


Tropical and temperate oceans

Location in the Zoo

Invertebrates Zone of the Sculpture Learning Plaza

Animals & Exhibits