Join 3,414 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Attack of the Giant Squid
January 20, 2005 9:26 AM   Subscribe

Uh Oh! Giant Squids, not to be confused with your regular, everyday squids, are washing up by the hundreds on the beaches of Southern California. This may be because Giant Squids are taking over the world!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy (61 comments total)

 
From the third link:

According to scientists, squid have overtaken humans in terms of total bio-mass.

That's a lot of bio-mass.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:29 AM on January 20, 2005


The USA won't let giant squids take over the world.

There will be a "War on Oceans" before it's all over.
posted by Balisong at 9:36 AM on January 20, 2005


Eat less fish, more calamari!
posted by rushmc at 9:38 AM on January 20, 2005


hmmm, seeing as I live 15 minutes from Newport Beach, maybe I should put out my anti-squid sandbags . . .
posted by killy willy at 9:38 AM on January 20, 2005


"Authorities said the squid — the biggest weighing 17 pounds..."

Are these baby Giant Squid? That does not sound so giant to me. I guess I need to study up on these bio-mass competitors.
posted by brheavy at 9:39 AM on January 20, 2005


They think they're Humboldt squid, which can get upwards of 50lbs, are bad-tempered, and can put a hurtin' on you.

If you've seen footage of a dude in a shark cage being molested by a bunch of man-sized squid that were changing color a lot, that's them.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:45 AM on January 20, 2005


Maybe they feel they can do more good working within the system.
posted by LairBob at 9:47 AM on January 20, 2005


Actually, I think these count as jumbo squid.

Giant squid (Architeuthis dux) are another matter all together. They're tough bastards, able to pick fights with sperm whales and live.
posted by Relay at 9:47 AM on January 20, 2005


20,000 Leagues Under the Sea has totally wrecked my perception of what makes a squid giant. When I heard the new story about giant squids washing up I imagined huge sea monsters filling the beach and then I heard that "some weigh up to 17 pounds" and was a little let down.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 9:50 AM on January 20, 2005


Also seen on Fark earlier...
posted by guruguy9 at 9:50 AM on January 20, 2005


"In the meantime, beachgoers were advised not to eat or even touch them..."

Kids! Back in the house! Looks like we're going to Red Lobster afterall!
posted by tpl1212 at 9:54 AM on January 20, 2005


What I'd like to see is some action from ze vampire squid from hell!
posted by furious blush at 9:59 AM on January 20, 2005


Ants have more biomass than humans, too. Though, as I remember, Peter Benchley's Beast ended predicting a huge rise in killer giant squids due to their huge reproductive rate and the overfishing of their natural predators.
posted by absalom at 9:59 AM on January 20, 2005


Those squids are all from Syria and Iran...
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:01 AM on January 20, 2005


brheavy, I read in the Boston Globe that it's just the first wave of genetically engineered Al Squida Miniature Attack Giant Squid, launched to black out the presidential inauguration with their inky Weapons of Biomass Destruction. Hitting the other coast is just diversionary tactic for the real onslaught (why do you think it's called Black Thursday? Coincidence? I think not) to come later this afternoon, sometime after everyone's had lunch and are a little sleepy.

Fortunately for us landlubbers, SpongeBob's recent spree of tolerance is diverting the public's attention to this impending tragedy, so he can fulfill his immediate CIA mandate of soaking up all this mess.
posted by jimmythefish at 10:02 AM on January 20, 2005


... and why does it take a couple of days to remove a 17 pound squid? Do typos abound in this story?
posted by dabradfo at 10:03 AM on January 20, 2005


Are they sure it wasn't a 17 hundred pound squid?

I didn't realize 17 pounds was 'giant'. Any encyclopedia entries list giant squid as anywhere between 200 and 2,000 pounds.

just wondering.
posted by jb_thms at 10:05 AM on January 20, 2005


I didn't realize 17 pounds was 'giant'.

It pulls in readers to write something like "Massive Sea Monsters Savage Coastlines; Residents Urged To Go About Their Business" as opposed to "Small- To Mid-Sized Squid Wash Up On Local Beach; Quickly Decompose"
posted by tpl1212 at 10:13 AM on January 20, 2005


Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you

Could you live with this guilt? No wonder they're killing themselves.
posted by j.p. Hung at 10:14 AM on January 20, 2005


At least it's a slow invasion...

Giant squid are taking over the world!
posted by Man O' Straw at 10:25 AM on January 20, 2005


these squid need to be introduced to the atkin's diet! (and possibly the hipster pda to keep track of their weight loss)
posted by Hands of Manos at 10:27 AM on January 20, 2005


Serious question - I know people eat all kinds of squid but do people actually hunt for, and consume *giant* squid? Anyone know where I can pick some up? Is it any good?

/loves seafood
posted by PurplePorpoise at 10:35 AM on January 20, 2005


Yeah, those are some pretty wussy 'giant' squid. *Real* giant squid have only been seen by human eyes about 250 times in modern history, and most of those were dead and beached. One of the few live spottings happened, quite appropriately, during a round-the-world yacht race named after Jules Verne, when a giant squid latched on to one of the racers:

"It was bigger than a human leg. It was a tentacle."
posted by Coherence Panda at 10:36 AM on January 20, 2005


Personally, I believe this was an invasion that was only thwarted since walking ain't just a matter of "being determined". Yeah yeah, different creatures. Squid, man-o-war, they're all invertebrates, and they all want our land!
posted by sysinfo at 10:47 AM on January 20, 2005


Arr, I got nothin' against ye, Squiddy. I just heard there was gold in yer belly!

BTW, I forsee big marketing opportunities for this classic Hanna-Barbera character.
posted by evilcolonel at 10:49 AM on January 20, 2005


A couple of interesting articles:

"Arnold Schwarzenegger of the squids"

"Around Baja, more gruesome stories are told about people getting killed by squid than by any other sea creature..."

...but apparently, kissing them calms them down, somewhat.
posted by Man O' Straw at 10:53 AM on January 20, 2005


Coherence Panda: That was a fantastic article. I remember reading it last summer and I was amazed at the O'Shea guy's obsession. With all our technology, we can't seem to catch up to those squid.
posted by brheavy at 10:57 AM on January 20, 2005


PurplePorpoise, Jumbo squid yes; some people do fish for and eat Humbolt squid. Don't have info about true giant squid. You can dive among them in Baja California. Photos here and here.
posted by X4ster at 11:03 AM on January 20, 2005


I don't know why why stories that should have a pic caption with them don't. Show me the !@#$% giant squid...next to a human for comparison. Too much to ask?
posted by MrMulan at 11:05 AM on January 20, 2005


MrMulan, Take a look at the links in post above.
posted by X4ster at 11:12 AM on January 20, 2005


Hmm - looks like Ken Macleod managed to perform an Arthur C. Clarke by predicting the future using science fiction novels... his "Engines of Light" series deal with a future in which spacecraft are piloted by kraken - or to be common, giant squid.


posted by Chunder at 11:17 AM on January 20, 2005


Yeah, don't mock the Humboldt squid. There's a documentary about them that's among the most terrifying things I've ever seem. Fast, hyper-aggressive creatures that hunt in packs and appear to constantly communicate with each other by flashing patterns on their bodies. *shiver*
posted by Cicerius at 11:19 AM on January 20, 2005


X4ster: Missed those...ahh better.
posted by MrMulan at 11:28 AM on January 20, 2005


Rumour has it these squid were killed off Dubai by golf balls.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:28 AM on January 20, 2005


X4ster: But they aren't giant compared to the one I could have sworn I saw in the NY Aquarium when I was a kid. It was fighting with a whale(kinda of like Man O' Straw's post)

There was even a caption on how the squid's tentacles had ripped off some of the whale's skin. Was I imagining this or was all this hype?
posted by MrMulan at 11:35 AM on January 20, 2005


From Man O' Straw's second link:

"Although they look flaccidly impotent when laid out dead on the deck, when alive in the water, Humboldt squid are powerful, vicious, meat-eating predators, and they are very dangerous to swim near. Around Baja, more gruesome stories are told about people getting killed by squid than by any other sea creature. Imagine a swarm of 50-pound animals capable of swimming more than 20 miles-per-hour, equipped with voracious appetites and over 1,000 suckers, each containing about 20 gripping teeth strong enough to tear human skin (correct, that's 20,000 teeth!). And, surrounded by that cluster of four-foot long arms is a powerful parrot's beak the size of a small tangerine, snapping and cutting at anything pulled within its reach."

Is it really true that they can reach 16 feet off the coast of South Americe and that they can weigh "several hundred pounds"?
posted by Cicerius at 11:38 AM on January 20, 2005


I for one, welcome our cephalopod overlords.
posted by badkarmaboy at 12:02 PM on January 20, 2005


Beware! They're working their way inland!
posted by wendell at 12:08 PM on January 20, 2005


Good, badkarmaboy, because my bretheren/sisteren will not tolerate decent.

BUAAAAHHHAAAAAAAAA!!!!

We march (or slither, or whatever tentacles do) on Washington DC tomorrow and will be taking tangerine sized chunks of republican flesh out of POTUS at 1300 hrs.

Who's with us?!?!?
posted by ranchocalamari at 12:11 PM on January 20, 2005


Imagine a swarm of 50-pound animals capable of swimming more than 20 miles-per-hour, equipped with voracious appetites and over 1,000 suckers, each containing about 20 gripping teeth strong enough to tear human skin

I am sooo hoping these guys never develop lungs (and backbones!)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:15 PM on January 20, 2005


I am sooo hoping these guys never develop lungs (and backbones!)

Then they would be more evolved than most politicians.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:22 PM on January 20, 2005


Our time is nigh. We cannot be stopped.
posted by squidlarkin at 12:46 PM on January 20, 2005


PurplePorpoise Giant Squid (the really giant ones) can't be eaten as they contain high levels of ammonia that they use for buoyancy. Nasty stuff that.
posted by nogudnik at 12:46 PM on January 20, 2005


But makes your floors squeaky clean!!
posted by Balisong at 1:21 PM on January 20, 2005


Hmm - looks like Ken Macleod managed to perform an Arthur C. Clarke by predicting the future using science fiction novels... his "Engines of Light" series deal with a future in which spacecraft are piloted by kraken - or to be common, giant squid.

posted by Chunder at 1:17 PM CST on January 20


IT'S A TRAP!!!
posted by Igor XA at 1:23 PM on January 20, 2005


Hmm - contain high levels of MeFi posts... Yes, that would be toxic.
posted by Nauip at 1:29 PM on January 20, 2005


Ha, their military strategy has fallen flat. They overestimated their ability to survive in an air rich environment.

Humans: 1 Squid: 0
posted by TwelveTwo at 2:14 PM on January 20, 2005


Hmm - looks like Ken Macleod managed to perform an Arthur C. Clarke by predicting the future using science fiction novels... his "Engines of Light" series deal with a future in which spacecraft are piloted by kraken - or to be common, giant squid.

posted by Chunder at 1:17 PM CST on January 20

IT'S A TRAP!!!
posted by Igor XA at 1:23 PM PST on January 20


yea beware of the enemy ships in sector 47 /hugenerd
posted by Numenorian at 2:18 PM on January 20, 2005


IT'S A TRAP!!!
posted by Igor XA at 4:23 PM EST on January 20


Nice suble reference to the Mon Calamari =)
posted by cyrusdogstar at 2:45 PM on January 20, 2005


PurplePorpoise: I spend quite a bit of time in Ensenada, in Baja California, MX, and I have seen giant (jumbo, Humbolt?) squid for sale in both the fresh fish market, and in the super markets there. Not being a squid expert, I have no idea exactly what type of squid they were, but was told they were 'giant squid'. I would estimate their length at 10 to 12 feet and they definitely weigh more than 17 pounds. I would guess about 40 or so.
posted by gummo at 2:53 PM on January 20, 2005


PurplePorpoise;
Lots of links to be found via Google for giant squid.
here's one. I tend to discount those early seafarer's tales, but modern reports suggest that there are some really big squids out there.

Gummo; I haven't been to Ensenada in several years. I miss the fish tacos... We used to drag a 15' Gregor down to Loreto area. Had some great trips, even saw a whale shark up close one time.
posted by X4ster at 4:08 PM on January 20, 2005


Is it possible the tsunami earthquake killed them?
That split in the ocean floor was as long as California, and likely a major shock to anything swimming near the bottom, which squid do. Or maybe the quake disrupted their food supply, and they starved. It could have taken them this long to drift over and wash up on shore. The quake could have killed many other marine creatures that were more palatable, and therefore quickly eaten. Too late for an autopsy?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 4:27 PM on January 20, 2005


Thanks X4ster (great pics - you aren't involved with that project, where you?), nogudnik, & gummo!. The humbolts don't seem all that big (although I don't doubt that they can be as nasty as a pack of hungry wolves). Disappointing that truly giant squid are too ammonia-rich (ick).

I guess mu gullet will have to settle for octopode of unusual size.

/always wanted a pet octopus, wonder if there are any squid that make good pets
posted by PurplePorpoise at 4:34 PM on January 20, 2005


They fished out from Daveys Locker, Newport Beach, for them last night/today.
http://www.daveyslocker.com/fish_count_page.htm ( this will cycle over tomorrow )

FREELANCE 88 GIANT SQUID, 38 BONITO, 5 SAND BASS
6-PACK CHARTER 7 Giant Squid, 8 Bonito
6-PACK CHARTER 8 Giant Squid, 12 Bonito

Probably going out again tonight.
posted by stuartmm at 5:07 PM on January 20, 2005


stuartmm;
35 pounders - I wish it was the Bonita they were talking about instead of the squid. I'd make the drive and be there at departure time! We used to catch 4-5 pound bonita, occasionally heavier, inside King Harbor in Redondo Beach. I think that the State record bonita was caught there, 30 pounds as I recall.
posted by X4ster at 7:58 PM on January 20, 2005


X4ster: But they aren't giant compared to the one I could have sworn I saw in the NY Aquarium when I was a kid. It was fighting with a whale(kinda of like Man O' Straw's post)
...Was I imagining this...


There's a diorama in the AMNH of a squid and a sperm whale fighting, in the hall of marine life or whatever it's called (the one with the blue whale hanging from the ceiling). Maybe that's what you're thinking of?
posted by mdn at 8:40 PM on January 20, 2005


aha. And the caption does discuss scarring on the whale's skin as you reference above...
posted by mdn at 8:44 PM on January 20, 2005


Squid taking over the world?
Sand in their vaginas, or what?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:46 PM on January 20, 2005


Giant squid with mind control. Plus they're excellent books.
posted by polyglot at 10:59 PM on January 20, 2005


Squid? Those were zeuglodonts or basilosaurus or some other early whale in those books.

But they're still fun books.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:05 AM on January 21, 2005


d'oh. my bad.
posted by polyglot at 7:16 PM on January 21, 2005


« Older Tiger Woods in Dubai...  |  Researchers Report Bubble Fusi... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments