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Squid!
September 27, 2005 5:44 PM   Subscribe

Giant squid photographed.
posted by footnote (83 comments total)

 
Never going swimming again.
posted by footnote at 5:47 PM on September 27, 2005


Shit!
posted by Dean Keaton at 5:48 PM on September 27, 2005


Man, I almost double-posted. (I've been sitting here building my FPP with refs to past discussions...and luckily thought to look again at the main page before hitting submit).

So I'll just add -- we have already talked about dead giant squids (as well as images of living samples of a similar species) -- but these are apparently real live Architeuthis. And for what it's worth, I found these images of the Ogasawara Islands, which are not far from where the squid were photographed.

Hooray for Krakenfilter!
posted by BT at 5:49 PM on September 27, 2005


Giant squid do it deeper.
posted by clevershark at 5:52 PM on September 27, 2005


mmmmmm.... squid...
posted by Edible Energy at 5:52 PM on September 27, 2005


"These... are small. Those... are far away."
posted by odinsdream at 5:55 PM on September 27, 2005


We're gonna need a lotta cocktail sauce...
posted by jonmc at 5:56 PM on September 27, 2005


So they ripped a tentacle off trying to pull it to the surface?
posted by eddydamascene at 5:57 PM on September 27, 2005


This makes so much happier than it probably should.
posted by LeeJay at 5:57 PM on September 27, 2005


Sorry BT - I'm sure you were constructing a much more worthy FPP!

I have to go home now before a giant squid breaks through the plate glass window of my office.
posted by footnote at 5:58 PM on September 27, 2005


Metafilter: "... having such a big penis does have one drawback: it seems that co-ordinating eight legs, two feeding tentacles and a huge penis, whilst fending off an irate female, is a bit too much to ask ..."
posted by odinsdream at 5:59 PM on September 27, 2005


Wow. As much as I dig this stuff, I also liked the idea that there was something out there that was this large (and was perhaps the inspiration for those squiggly sea monsters drawn on the edges of ancient maps) that we didn't know much about and had really never seen. Here's to scientific progress over mysteries and here's the actual article about the pictures.
posted by Staggering Jack at 6:01 PM on September 27, 2005


odinsdream -- it'd be just as funny to end the tagline after "drawback".
posted by clevershark at 6:05 PM on September 27, 2005


"... a particularly long penis, which means they can inject the female without having to get too close to her chomping beak."

Ah, the joys of true love!
posted by cleardawn at 6:10 PM on September 27, 2005


I'm waiting for them to glue a camera on the head of a sperm whale. Digital IMAX, preferably.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 6:11 PM on September 27, 2005


my god. this is precisely the kind of thing I am most afraid of. Every time I go swimming in the ocean, I'm nearly petrified by the thought of inadvertently angering some slumbering leviathan and being dragged down to a murky watery grave by one.

Which may explain why that picture seems so unbelievably fascinating to me.
posted by shmegegge at 6:15 PM on September 27, 2005


Incredibly cool.
posted by Mach3avelli at 6:17 PM on September 27, 2005


"...the massive cephalopod was armed with two huge beaks and rotating hooks along its tentacles"

Rotating hooks?!? Is it a squid or a slaughterhouse?
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 6:17 PM on September 27, 2005


Just a calamari.
posted by mrkredo at 6:17 PM on September 27, 2005


Now this is tentacle porn!
...had to be said...
posted by WolfDaddy at 6:18 PM on September 27, 2005


You'd think a big-time outfit like National Geographic could come up with a better way to do a slide show that reloading the entire page, or something.

Nonetheless, this only reinforces my relief at being a land animal.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:27 PM on September 27, 2005


WTB [Deepdive Helmet] PST
posted by thefreek at 6:27 PM on September 27, 2005


mr_crash_davis writes "You'd think a big-time outfit like National Geographic could come up with a better way to do a slide show that reloading the entire page, or something."

Sure, but that way each pic is bookmarkable.
posted by clevershark at 6:33 PM on September 27, 2005


*shudder*
It looks like the squid is shooting a white laser to the left in the first two pictures. If giant squid isn't enough to put the fear in you, giant laser squid surely is.
posted by boo_radley at 6:35 PM on September 27, 2005


You mean squid with freakin' laser beams on their heads?
posted by clevershark at 6:42 PM on September 27, 2005


This really is a cool post. It's kind of beautiful, as well as terrifying.

Now where's the Nautilus?
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 6:59 PM on September 27, 2005


No worries, footnote. Sometimes brevity's the thing. "Giant squid photographed" has a quietly definitive poetry to it.
posted by BT at 7:05 PM on September 27, 2005


So they ripped a tentacle off trying to pull it to the surface?

See, in Japanese scientific circles there is no distinction made between "research marine creature" and "kill and eat marine creature".
posted by Catch at 7:08 PM on September 27, 2005


I wonder how much garlic you need to get just the right flavour out of that huge tentacle...
posted by clevershark at 7:14 PM on September 27, 2005


This is cool as hell. I remember being disappointed at the pickled giant squid at the Museum of Natural History in DC a couple years ago, but also fascinated when the accompanying text to the pickled squid said when had never been seen or photographed in the wild.

So they ripped a tentacle off trying to pull it to the surface?

From reading the article it looks like it was a bait hook, and they were specifically searching for a squid to try and photograph it. Not sure if they were trying to drag it in, I think the poor thing was just struggling.
posted by marxchivist at 7:14 PM on September 27, 2005


What a Japanese "research vessel" actually did some research? goodness.

(link may be a bit inflammatory, I apologize)
posted by edgeways at 7:14 PM on September 27, 2005


I saw a cool program on Discovery HD in which a scientist off New Zealand was attempting to capture a baby giant squid (you know, the size of a quarter) and raise it to adult size, instead of capturing an adult. They had some success, finding something like 5-6 baby giant squids in two weeks but it took a lot of work and none survived more than a couple weeks. So technically this is not the first giant squid photographed, but the first adult one photographed. It seems to me that they will very soon here get the holding tank into a condition favored by this squid and the whole mystery will no longer be.
posted by geoff. at 7:16 PM on September 27, 2005


So, do we send the special forces dolphins after them?
posted by edgeways at 7:17 PM on September 27, 2005


geoff.: and I thought I was the only one who'd seen that doco! I remember laughing myself sick at the deep, portentous voice-over intoning about 'the first ever pictures of a live giant squid', while the TV screen showed a bunch of transparent, 5 mil. larvae swimming around a small fish tank.

I can just imagine the confusion back at Discovery HQ over that one -- Yay! We've captured the first-ever images of a live giant squid! Only, it's, like...5 mm. long. What do we do now?
posted by Sonny Jim at 7:37 PM on September 27, 2005


So they ripped a tentacle off trying to pull it to the surface?

Cthulu's going to be pissed.
posted by showmethecalvino at 7:43 PM on September 27, 2005


Cthulu's going to be pissed.

Yes, I think we're in grave danger of enraging our Cephalopod Overlords.
posted by jrochest at 8:03 PM on September 27, 2005


Wow, this is cool. I'm also terrified though. (they didn't seem so scary when they were dead)
posted by kosher_jenny at 8:23 PM on September 27, 2005


So they ripped a tentacle off trying to pull it to the surface?

Although my heart doesn't bleed for a squid, it's great how there's no issues raised regarding the rarity of the creature nor of the possibility of having used a non damaging technique instead.
posted by nervousfritz at 8:24 PM on September 27, 2005


Metafilter: We're gonna need a bigger ship....
posted by spirit72 at 8:47 PM on September 27, 2005


There are lots of giant squid, as far as we know. They're not hunted, and they live in the extreme deep see where pollutants are thought to have less of an impact. I get this from reading the Wikipedia article on sperm whales, their chief predator.

Not all exotic creatures are endangered.
posted by tss at 8:48 PM on September 27, 2005


er, deep sea.
posted by tss at 8:49 PM on September 27, 2005


Holy crap! *gibbers madly*
posted by loquacious at 8:50 PM on September 27, 2005


Anyone who takes a neuroscience class learns about a peculiar thing called the squid giant axon, part of one of the largest nerve cells in the animal kingdom. This single cell in normal squids is plainly visible to the eye, having as it does an axonal diameter of 1mm. The giant axon is necessary for fast transmission of nerve signals, since invertebrate nerve cells lack myelin sheaths. The massive size of the cell enabled Hodgkin and Huxley to perform the experiments that essentially led to our understanding of the ionic currents underlying all neural signaling.

Of course the obvious question for the bored student is how big the giant squid giant axon is---surely if the squid giant axon is big, then one from a giant squid must be huge! And it is. 4mm wide, thicker than a coffee stirrer. An enormous cell! Source.
posted by tss at 9:01 PM on September 27, 2005


Sharks worry me alot more than giant squid but I will still swim in the bay.

These pictures were cool!
posted by fenriq at 9:09 PM on September 27, 2005


Scientists often find the remains of the large squid in the whales' stomachs. In addition, marks made by squid suckers have been seen on whale skins.

Holy shit, there's a brutal interspecies war of giants taking place 2000 feet below the world's oceans, going on for millennia. I will not sleep tonight.
posted by LarryC at 9:12 PM on September 27, 2005


Never mind that giant squid. This squid is colossal! (via)
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:16 PM on September 27, 2005


Too cool! I mean

.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 9:36 PM on September 27, 2005


LarryC, it's worse than you ever imagined.

This is seriously cool, but at the same time, I feel like a little mystery has gone out of the world. John Fowles was right: an answer is always a form of death.
posted by MrBadExample at 9:43 PM on September 27, 2005


Damn lucky Japanese scientists probably got to eat the tentacle too. This creature is fascinating and I really want to eat it.
posted by Saydur at 9:50 PM on September 27, 2005


AHHHH!!

THAT CAN'T BE REAL!!!



Nothing with that many limbs should grow to be so big!
posted by Jon-o at 10:05 PM on September 27, 2005


Wow. As much as I dig this stuff, I also liked the idea that there was something out there that was this large (and was perhaps the inspiration for those squiggly sea monsters drawn on the edges of ancient maps) that we didn't know much about and had really never seen.

you will enjoy this: "Bloop"
posted by scarabic at 10:13 PM on September 27, 2005


So they ripped a tentacle off trying to pull it to the surface?

Actually it had to rip its own tentacle off to try get away. ...

After a monstrous battle, the squid eventually freed itself, but left a giant tentacle on the hook.

Poor monster... Damn sushi lovers just out for some geso.
posted by missbossy at 10:35 PM on September 27, 2005


Cool - I had never heard of the Bloop before. Now if only I was cool enough to get invited to the right sort of marine biology party, I suspect I'd be casually mentioning it all the time. Thanks.
posted by Staggering Jack at 10:43 PM on September 27, 2005


LarryC, it's worse than you ever imagined

Yes, sexually aggressive sperm whales penetrating Rockefeller's oligarchies in our collective, unconscious mind is frightening.

Seriously, the photo is impressive, and I hope we soon see an autopsy report.
posted by IndpMed at 11:06 PM on September 27, 2005


Giant squids are inedible since their flesh contains large amounts of ammonia. The ammonia is less dense than water and allows the squids to achieve neutral buoyancy. Wikipedia: Giant squid
posted by ryanrs at 11:50 PM on September 27, 2005


That "bloop" sounds very much like a very large underwater gaseous exhalation. Perhaps eating giant squid gives sperm whales gas?
posted by longbaugh at 1:33 AM on September 28, 2005


They have an embalmed giant squid in the small Napier Aquarium in NZ; those suckers are lethal. Very cool that they've finally spotted one in action.
posted by Paragon at 2:03 AM on September 28, 2005


It's a good idea to play it safe.
posted by methylsalicylate at 2:48 AM on September 28, 2005


After reading this story from The New Yorker, I really hoped Steve O'Shea would have been the first to photograph the giant squid. But so it goes.
(I hate to admit it, but the 4th photo from footnote's link made me kind of hungry for sushi.)
posted by maryh at 2:54 AM on September 28, 2005


scarabic: That bloop thing and the whole phenomenon of unidentifiable ocean noises deserves a detailed front page post.

That bloop noise at the NOAA Vents Program for Acoustic Monitoring site was giving me the willies, as did the other "Unidentified Sounds".

I'm going to be haunted by dreams resembling the movie Abyss, but with less peacefully glowing ET people and more hugenormous cephalopods and unimaginable lurking terrors of the deep. Fnord.
posted by loquacious at 3:30 AM on September 28, 2005


See, in Japanese scientific circles there is no distinction made between "research marine creature" and "kill and eat marine creature".
posted by Catch at 12:08 PM JST on September 28


This comment was unnecesary and unfortunate.
posted by gen at 4:19 AM on September 28, 2005


"You're gonna need a bigger boat."
posted by The Ultimate Olympian at 4:29 AM on September 28, 2005


This comment was unnecesary and unfortunate.

But true?
posted by Pendragon at 4:39 AM on September 28, 2005


Whoa! Very cool.
posted by May Kasahara at 5:22 AM on September 28, 2005


So they ripped a tentacle off trying to pull it to the surface?

Defense strategy.
posted by Witty at 5:37 AM on September 28, 2005


There was a video of this on the news just now. Is that video on the Web? It would appear the linked photos are made up partially of stills from its footage and I'd like to see it if it's freely downloadable.
posted by sjvilla79 at 6:55 AM on September 28, 2005


Mr.BadExample, thanks, that extra link to that painting made my day.
posted by uni verse at 6:57 AM on September 28, 2005


Ia! Ia!

Fthagn.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:10 AM on September 28, 2005


uni verse :


The BBC site has a video
, on the right hand side toolbar near the top
posted by edgeways at 7:29 AM on September 28, 2005


My nightmares now have a new specific form.
posted by maxsparber at 8:31 AM on September 28, 2005


They have swivelling hooks. Aiieee.

Still, someday...
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:57 AM on September 28, 2005


edgeways, thanks for the video link.
posted by LeeJay at 8:58 AM on September 28, 2005


Somewhere in the woods of Ontario, Troy Hurtubise is shaving himself with a Bowie knife as he watches this and thinking "Shit, I could take one o' them. I got a knife, after all. Now to build my Anti-Squid Suit, Mark 1..."

I wonder what TEUTHIS will stand for... Totally Enclosed Underwater Troy House for Investigating Squids?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:40 AM on September 28, 2005


Why can I not stop looking at these pictures? So scary, yet so compelling...
posted by footnote at 9:46 AM on September 28, 2005


I remember being disappointed at the pickled giant squid at the Museum of Natural History in DC a couple years ago, but also fascinated when the accompanying text to the pickled squid said [it] had never been seen or photographed in the wild.

Yes, it's habitat behind the counters of bars, among the pickled eggs and the six-year-old peanuts, is difficult for researchers to access. Luckily its relatives with equally impressive shelf-lives, the freeze-dried squid and the country smoked squid, have been studied extensively.

Also, the squid's tentacle should grow back, so the researchers haven't left a permanently disabled squid to fend for itself. I'd be more worried about the researchers themselves, since cephalopod tentacles, as this one has demonstrated, are capable of movement and color change after being detached.

Japanese scientist #1: This has certainly been a fascinating research voyage! Say, did you hear a strange noise coming from the specimen cooler last night?

Japanese scientist #2: Yes, though I am sure it was nothing to worry about. Let's go look at my collection of animated por . . . Dr. Yamato? Dr. Yamato? Where did you AAAARRRRRGGGGGH!!!
posted by crake at 10:20 AM on September 28, 2005


Great. Now we've alerted the giant squids to our presence. Prepare for an asymmetrical battle as the squids come ashore with water breathing apparatus and laser beams.
posted by palinode at 10:51 AM on September 28, 2005


"This comment was unnecesary and unfortunate."

As far as the so-called scientific whaling programme goes it seems entirely justified.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:04 PM on September 28, 2005


Ooh, thanks, I like this shot . The suction cups on the tentacle look beautiful. A deep sea photographer on the radio today said that there are believed to be squid as big as 80 feet long, judging by the size of suction marks found on whales and pieces of squid analyzed by researches. He guessed that the squid would grow back its missing tentacle. I hope it does.
posted by PY at 4:32 PM on September 28, 2005


I just hope it doesn't eat me the next time I go swimming.
posted by maxsparber at 5:35 PM on September 28, 2005


scarabic: That bloop thing and the whole phenomenon of unidentifiable ocean noises deserves a detailed front page post.

Yeah I wound up on the Bloop entry of Wikipedia a few days ago and have been thinking the same thing. I will work on one.
posted by scarabic at 6:44 PM on September 28, 2005


edgeways, cheers for the video link.
posted by sjvilla79 at 1:49 AM on September 29, 2005


Wheee! I'm so thrilled.
posted by agregoli at 10:12 AM on September 29, 2005


Perhaps we should be arming the sperm whales.
posted by underer at 3:21 PM on October 18, 2005


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