Promachoteuthis sulcus: Strange Squid with human like teeth

by KakashiNar

Promachoteuthis sulcus is a strange species of squid, best known for its human-like mouth.

Some may think that the animal shown in the picture above is a fantastic creature from a sci-fi film. Others may mistake it for the facehugger from the Alien franchise.

Well, let me assure you that the creature is 100 % real. It’s a squid and its scientific name is Promachoteuthis sulcus. It still doesn’t have an official common name, however most refer to it as the the squid with the human mouth (or something similar), for obvious reason.

The photo was taken in 2007 by scientists at the German research vessel "Walther Herwig". The caught was caught in the ship’s nets, at a depth of about 2000 m (~6,560 ft), near the Tristan Da Cunha islands.

Promachoteuthis sulcus Information

We still don’t know much about this strange looking animal. The specimen caught in 2007 still remains the only one that has been officially caught and examined. The little knowledge we have, comes from the guy in the photo! Well, it’s actually a gal :)

The female specimen was only 25 mm (~1 inch) long and researchers speculate that it doesn’t grow much bigger. Thus, there is no reason for its somewhat frightening appearance to haunt your dreams!

As revealed by the specimen's examination, Promachoteuthis sulcus has eight arms, two tentacles, and a mouth with seemingly human-like teeth. The species is distinguished from related taxa on the basis of numerous morphological features, like:

  • Nuchal fusion between the head and mantle
  • Its arm suckers are disproportionately larger compared to club suckers
  • Greater width of tentacle base than arm base
  • A recessed club base
  • The presence of an aboral tentacle groove
P.sulcus  close-up image
P.sulcus close-up image
Richard E. Young (from
P.sulcus specimen: ventrolateral view
P.sulcus specimen: ventrolateral view
Richard E. Young (from

Promachoteuthis sulcus Mouth

Most squid species have tough, razor-sharp beaks that they use to grab, chop and chew their prey.  Promachoteuthis sulcus is no exception and has one small beak, lurking behind its human-like teeth. 

As for the teeth.. Well you may be disappointed as the are an illusion. They are actually circular, folded lips, with only the upper and lower portions visible.


P.sulcus Drawing: dorsal and ventral view
P.sulcus Drawing: dorsal and ventral ...

As a Meme

About a year ago, the creature's appearance helped it to gain a small following as an internet meme. Edited images like the one below circulated over reddit and other popular social networking sites.

Promachoteuthis sulcus as a meme
Promachoteuthis sulcus as a meme

You found P. Sulcus to be ?




Don't forget leaving a comment if you enjoyed the article! If I receive more feedback, more posts on and strange and odd animals will follow !

Updated: 04/10/2014, KakashiNar
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KathleenDuffy on 04/11/2014

I WANT those teeth WordChazer - it's not right that a mere squid has perfect teeth....

Guest on 04/11/2014

I'd not want to encounter it without warning even if it's bite might look worse than it is.

ologsinquito on 04/10/2014

Very interesting article and a very interesting creature!

KathleenDuffy on 04/10/2014

Oh gosh - if this was April Fool's Day I would be very suspicious! What a bizarre creature! The appearance of the teeth are better than mine! I am jealous! :)

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