Flying squid. Not as tasty as it sounds.
November 23, 2010 4:51 PM   Subscribe

"From the deck of a cruise ship along the coast of Brazil, a retiree named Bob Hulse snapped some high-resolution photographs of something unusual leaping from the sea: what appears to be dozens of squid propelling themselves through the air -- quite possibly the first time the impressive display has been caught on film."
posted by nomadicink (55 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Awesome! Next up, Cheep-Cheeps off the coast of Sri Lanka!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:52 PM on November 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


I, for one, welcome our new cephalopod overlords.
posted by New England Cultist at 4:58 PM on November 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


Still sounds pretty tasty to me.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:59 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


And we find ourselves one step closer to Sharktopus!
posted by yeloson at 5:00 PM on November 23, 2010


We are so screwed.
posted by brundlefly at 5:04 PM on November 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty surprised that this is the first time anyone has photographed this. I've seen this happen south of Cape Cod. I was fishing at the time and didn't bother to bring a camera. Honestly, I didn't even think it was a big deal, just a sign that there was tuna nearby and I'd better watch the lines.

But hey, someone on a cruise ship gets a bit of science done I'm all for it. Beats getting a norovirus.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 5:10 PM on November 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


...and Cthulu smiles as the younger Ones make their first foray into the air they will soon fill....
posted by squasha at 5:11 PM on November 23, 2010 [8 favorites]


Cool, all we need to do now is train them to attack pirates.
posted by bwg at 5:11 PM on November 23, 2010


I believe squid can fly
I believe squid can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
Spread their funnels and fly away
I believe squid can soar
I see them flying through that open door
I believe squid can fly
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:13 PM on November 23, 2010 [23 favorites]


THIS IS TERRIFYING.
posted by auto-correct at 5:15 PM on November 23, 2010


Photographic Evidence Proves That Squid Can Fly

Flying squid. Not as tasty as it sounds.

Cool post, but in terms of "proof" and tastiness, I have eaten Surume Ika countless times in Japan.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:16 PM on November 23, 2010


They're only trying to escape from the annoyance that is Spongebob, so that they can practice their clarinets in peace.
posted by not_on_display at 5:18 PM on November 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


So the squid-astronauts have left the friendly life-giving atmosphere and have penetrated... OUTER SPACE.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 5:19 PM on November 23, 2010


But have they seen them laugh?
posted by lalochezia at 5:19 PM on November 23, 2010


[ahem]

Thank you, Morris.

For more than a year now, ominous rumours have been quietly circulating amongst high-level Western leaders about new capacities of the cephalopods. What they are doing, or their intentions in launching themselves bodily from the water, no-one can say.

It appears likely that squid are now capable of executing low-level short-range flights without pre-detection. The consequences for maritime operations in the short term should be obvious, as is the potential for squid operations of this kind to upset the balance of power entirely. An undetected attack on coastal cities or trawler fleets would leave a warning period of... excuse me, where have I put my slide rule... ah, yes, mere seconds.

Even one squid impacting in the central business district of a city would have a damage radius of several dozens of centimetres. Fallout caught in the atmosphere could range many metres and the smell, if left uncleaned, would last days or weeks. Gentlemen, we have a responsibility to ensure the public amenity of our footpaths and our freedom from the effects of raw marine life.

The BLAND Corporation will be submitting its proposal to the Pentagon urgently for augmented research into a seaborne anti-squid ballistic missile defence system. In addition it is vital that we increase our trawling efforts in littoral areas and develop a second-strike capacity of Western cephalopodia to ensure the effectiveness and credibility of our deterrence.

Gentlemen, we must not allow a cephalopod gap.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:21 PM on November 23, 2010 [10 favorites]


Relax people. We got butter, we got garlic...we got opposable thumbs and tools. We can handle this.
posted by digitalprimate at 5:27 PM on November 23, 2010 [10 favorites]


Like kuujjuarapik, I didn't know this was "unknown" squid behavior. When I was growing up my dad had friends who either owned smaller boats or worked as captains on larger private sportfishing boats, so it seemed like something squids would be commonly known to do. They're basically rocket powered mollusks after all.

I'd rather get hit by a flying squid then a flying fish. Flying fish are spiny and hard. Catching one of those in the face while doing 20-30 knots in an open cockpit boat would ruin your day pretty good.
posted by loquacious at 5:40 PM on November 23, 2010


Like kuujjuarapik, I didn't know this was "unknown" squid behavior.

Actually, reviewing the linked article, Scientific American (or some other similar mag/journal) is actually arguing that the squid seem to be flying as opposed to rocketing out of the water thanks to jet propulsion.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:44 PM on November 23, 2010


Relax people. We got butter, we got garlic...we got opposable thumbs and tools. We can handle this.

I don't know how to break this to you, but squid are basically one giant hand that has 8 infinitely jointed thumbs covered in spinning knives and backed up by an angry, hungry brain and a razor sharp beak like a carnivorous parrot.

If it came down to a one-on-one cage tank match between you armed with a knife and a full sized Humboldt squid, I'll bet on the squid.

We're just lucky that squids don't like garlic or butter, but that's only because they have neither cow, nor garlic press, nor butter churn. You should be a little concerned if they run out of food before we do.
posted by loquacious at 5:49 PM on November 23, 2010 [9 favorites]


If it came down to a one-on-one cage tank match between you armed with a knife and a full sized Humboldt squid, I'll bet on the squid.

Is that taking into account the element of surprise?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:53 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Plans for constructing an intergalactic highway have been submitted to our local council.
posted by vidur at 5:54 PM on November 23, 2010


Just stop them before they tech to brood lords
posted by marco_nj at 5:56 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fiasco da Gama: do you seriously think I'd allow video of my masterstroke if there remained the slightest chance of you affecting its outcome? My squid attacked thirty minutes ago...
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 5:58 PM on November 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


"Yeah yeah right buddy I'll eat this piece of shit in front of me and stab myself in the eye when squid fly. Wait just a second...I'm sorry...what?"

"Fuck."
posted by jimmythefish at 6:03 PM on November 23, 2010


MetaFilter: We must not allow a cephalopod gap.
posted by jimmythefish at 6:13 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Actually, reviewing the linked article, Scientific American (or some other similar mag/journal) is actually arguing that the squid seem to be flying as opposed to rocketing out of the water thanks to jet propulsion.

Like flying fish, they can glide. They can only glide so far on the momentum of a jet of water. I promise you they're not flapping their tiny fins and flying aerodynamically as a bird does. The mass to airfoil ratio can't support real wing-based flying and propulsion in air. They're rocketing.

Squid can barely "fly" in dense water in neutral buoyancy with those fins. They're just guidance control surfaces and they're not particularly strong. They can ripple them like cuttlefish and maneuver backwards, forwards, rotate and what not - but the real long range propulsion of a squid comes from their funnel jets.

However, in the unlikely chance I'm wrong I don't care, because I'm already prepared to thumb a lift from the next passing Vogon ship off of this planet.

I've been warily keeping my eye on those inky bastards for a while now. I almost didn't make it last time because I figured it would take them longer to develop, but the time elapsed between tool use, symbolic language and nuclear weapons is alarmingly short. Last time it was something like 30 days between written language and planet-cracking nuclear fusion weapons. They didn't even have to develop books or libraries first. Their whole body is covered in high resolution e-ink displays and they're backed by organic field programmable neural-net biocomputers. Since they reproduce so fast they just started specializing through selective breeding, and the next thing you know you've got a bio-engineered heavy water reactor that operates on the molecular level.

Fuck, the earth squids better not read this. I shouldn't be giving out free advice.
posted by loquacious at 6:14 PM on November 23, 2010 [13 favorites]


I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
posted by Aquaman at 6:24 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Sure. Mail a self addressed, stamped envelope and a money order for 15.95 to... hey, wait a minute. Something is fishy about you.
posted by loquacious at 6:39 PM on November 23, 2010 [6 favorites]


Flying snakes want some of the spotlight.
posted by zerobyproxy at 6:39 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm glad I'm not the only one who's going to have nightmares tonight....
posted by stoneweaver at 6:41 PM on November 23, 2010


And people wonder why I moved to Wisconsin.
posted by rtimmel at 6:54 PM on November 23, 2010


In a few million years, this planet is gonna be weird.
posted by MrVisible at 7:04 PM on November 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


My squid attacked thirty minutes ago...
But when they were detected in the launching phase by the coastal surveillance nets, the information was relayed to NORAD and the squid were attacked in flight by units of the People's Emergency Light Interception Cephalopod/Arthropod Network (PELICAN).

You can expect massive retaliation.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 7:04 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Supposedly it was a fun thing, but the squid all agree, they'll never do it again.
posted by mannequito at 7:07 PM on November 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


oh god it's started

I know, wrong species, but they're practically cousins.
posted by sigmagalator at 7:16 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just stop them before they tech to brood lords

Nuke the oceans!
posted by showmethecalvino at 7:22 PM on November 23, 2010


If it came down to a one-on-one tank match between you armed with a knife and a full sized Humboldt squid, I'll bet on the squid.

Not so fast! We've tried this before.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 7:47 PM on November 23, 2010


Holy Crap that is freakin' creepy.
posted by TooFewShoes at 8:09 PM on November 23, 2010


Your world. My world. Baby, this is Frankie's architeuthis' world, and we're just living in it.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:27 PM on November 23, 2010


Metafilter: Beats getting a norovirus.
posted by 445supermag at 8:41 PM on November 23, 2010


It's a fake.
posted by GeckoDundee at 8:48 PM on November 23, 2010


Oooh... aaah... that's how it always starts.

Then later.. there's the running.. and the screaming..
posted by Ahab at 9:33 PM on November 23, 2010


This is a job for the CalaMarines!

This is the ONLY job for the CalaMarines!
posted by vanar sena at 11:42 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


So, I get a knife and the squid gets a fucking TANK? This is not a fair fight.
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:47 PM on November 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


T-Rex is going to be terrified.
posted by brennen at 12:00 AM on November 24, 2010


It's a trap!
posted by Splunge at 1:46 AM on November 24, 2010


Iä! Iä!
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:20 AM on November 24, 2010


Is this not some type of avoidance behavior? Isn't it possible that something big and hungry is just beneath the surface?

I'd like to think they're all going "whee! I'm airborne! Let's freak these tourists right out!" but I think they're really more like "OH MY GOD THOSE TEETH!!!! Must fly! Don't wanna be lunch!"

Poor lil' squiddies.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:53 AM on November 24, 2010


Squid are awesome and never cease to amaze me.
posted by jillithd at 6:42 AM on November 24, 2010


Awww don't be scared, they're just practicing their Squidditch skillz..... (rimshot)...
posted by Debaser626 at 7:32 AM on November 24, 2010


Poor lil' squiddies.

Aw squiddie, I got nothing against ye. I just heard there was gold in yer belly.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 7:33 AM on November 24, 2010


It is almost 2011 - we have submersibles and high-resolution cameras and fast boats and we think we own the ocean, and then out of nowhere we finally learn that squids can fly. What the hell else is out there under the waves?
posted by infinitefloatingbrains at 7:36 AM on November 24, 2010


Oh sure, we make jokes about it now. "Ha ha, the squid can jet along", we say. No even for a moment realizing that it's not the actual squid we need to be worried about! The squid is nothing more than the delivery system.

Imagine this: Millions of flying squid rising over the decks of your boat, and like the noble steeds they were bred to be, each carries a deadly and formidable mantis shrimp knight, now on the decks, they beat us into submission, clearing a path for their lords and masters...

The octopus. The Brain of the Ocean, master of all that it surveys, its long plan finally come to fruition. First the seas, then the beaches, finally, the WORLD!

I don't want to get all melodramatic here, but this is pretty clearly the end of our ability to freely travel above the waves. We might as well just cede the oceans back to the cephalopods and be done with it.

*gibbers off into the night*
posted by quin at 7:54 AM on November 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Imagine this: Millions of flying squid rising over the decks of your boat...

Neon flying squid, (Ommastrephes bartrami) which often swim in schools, have been observed flying in groups of more than one hundred. The Humboldt squid, sometimes known as the jumbo squid, are also capable of flight. - Smithsonian
posted by marco_nj at 9:46 AM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't speak Japanese, but it looks like some squid might even be capable of interstellar travel.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 11:27 AM on November 24, 2010


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