An excellent article on Architeuthis in the New Yorker:
“There was this big thing hanging off the front of the net,” Robison recalled. “The suckers were still grasping.” Robison’s discovery offered the most accurate recording yet of a giant squid’s depth in the water column. “Until then, most people thought they were only near the bottom,” he said. Robison later dissected the tentacle and performed chemical analyses; the consistency of the tissue, and its high level of protein, led him to speculate that the giant squid was “a relatively strong swimmer.” Robison told me that he had taken a bite of its raw, rubbery flesh. “How could I not?” he said, adding, “It was bitter.”
8 thoughts on “Calamari”
I always was a little more scared of giant squid than Great White sharks (Peter Benchley’s Beast and Jaws, respectively). At least a GW finishes its prey off with a few chomps (yes, they usually only take an exploratory bite and realize that human doesn’t have enough calories to warrant finishing the job), but archeteuthis rips chunks out of its victims with its massive beak, while enveloping them with saucer sized suction cups and spikes in their center. The scrimshaw depictions of a kraken taking on a Spanish Galleon is the image I get when I picture giant squid, along with its epic battles against Sperm Whales which it sometimes wins!
Captain Nemo needed to deploy/sacrifice harpoon weilding crew members an electric barrier system for the Nautilus to get rid of the squid. Leo showed us in “The Beach” that all you need to deal with a shark is a diving knife. After that it’s all fish and chips and tartar sauce.
The Beach. Ouch. You said the “L” word on my blog, dude! The only reasonable usage of that word that I can think of is in reference to a certain mutant ninja turtle (middle-aged by now I suppose). Or that Rennaissance guy. The best part about the beach is when a funky old Thai pot farmer outsmarts all the gweilos. Unfortunately, this ends up causing the worst part of the movie – When the L doesn’t get capped.
They still haven’t caught or filmed an entire, live giant squid, have they.
Back in elementary school, squid and octopi were my favorite animals. They still are these days, though perhaps in a different way.
The French have a stuffed-squid dish that rocks. Wish I could remember the name.
Actually, about 6 months ago I saw a program on the Discovery Channel about O’Shea,the squid professor in the article, and they filmed a living larval archeteuthis (it was in the glass holding cell of the plankton net. It’s always amazing to see up-to-date TV programming in Japan!). In my book this qualifies, although disappointlingly, as the first live documentation of the giant squid. Bonus points go to the squid team who wrassles a live specimen into a zodiac using only gaffes and muscle.
Supions farcis, non?
There was an absolutely horrific Nat’l. Geo program last year that was so spooky, I forgot to TIVO it for you….about the “Red Devil” squid in the Gulf of Mexico or Baja somewhere….anyways, the legend as passed down by fishermen tells about how these huge squid will drag you down and eat you. The filmmakers decided to do an experiment and see about this myth, since no scientific studies have been done so far. The researcher dove down with a camera man at night (as perplexed and very spooked fishermen looked on) and the squid, which sent out individual patrol members first to test the divers, showed amazing intelligence in their attack. It was fierce, organized and weirdly sci-fi. Wish you’d seen it….don’t dive in their turf, for sure!
They’re going to be showing that program next month on Nat’l G in Japan. I read about it in a magazine, but I’m looking forward to see the footage.
I believe the squid that attacked the divers were Humbolt squid.