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Billionaire Loans Yacht to Track Down Giant Squid

Ray Dalio is knowing for plumbing the depths of financial markets for rare discoveries.

Turns out, he has the same instincts in the ocean.

Two years ago, Dalio – founder of the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates -- bought a 185-foot yacht called Alucia. While most mega-yachts are designed for pleasure or bobbing off the sunny waters of the Amalfi Coast, Alucia is designed for scientific research – equipped with all manner of sensors and submarine launchpads and cranes.

Dalio's aim was to provide the boat to scientists and film crews for oceanographic research. Two years ago, Alucia helped locate a downed Air France plane in the bottom of the ocean, and now the ship has made its most important discovery.

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Alucia and its on-board Triton submarine were deployed to get the first footage ever of a live, giant squid, photos of which have been making the rounds on the internet this week. And we'll see more in a Discovery Channel special later this month. (It's called "Monster Squid: The Giant is Real, airing January 27 at 8 pm.)

Sometimes called the Steve Jobs of investing for his quirky personality and well-guarded privacy, Dalio declined to comment on the Alucia or the squid or his ocean-going philanthropy.

But people familiar with the expedition say that Dalio is "thrilled" with the squid project and proud of discovery.

(Read more: 'My Other Yacht Is a Support Yacht')

With a reported net worth of around $10 billion, Dalio of course can afford to be generous. Still, it's inspiring to hear about a yacht owner using his vessel for science — and education for the rest of us — rather than simply holding sun-deck cocktail parties in St. Barts.

Thanks Ray.

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