Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Giant Squid Photographed

From National Geographic

As National Geographic is reporting, the
first photographs of a live giant squid show it to be more active than previously believed.

The elusive creature was photographed by a team of Japanese scientists near the Ogawara Islands in the North Pacific. By studying the behavior of sperm whales, whose migration took them near the islands and are known predators of giant squid, the scientists learned that near the continental shelf the whales took extraordinarily deep dives to about 1,000 metres (3,250 feet)down - the depth that giant squid are believed to reside.

The scientists built a buoyant camera platform, outfitted it with a baited trap, and lowered away, programming the camera to take pictures every 30 seconds for the 4-5 hours it was at depth. A squid took the bait - and impaled himself on the hook. When the platform was retrieved, a piece of tentacle was still on the platform:
At 9:15 am on September 30 2004, squids as we know them changed forever.

At that moment, 900 metres (2,925 feet) down in the Stygian gloom, an eight-metre (26-feet) specimen lunged at the lower bait bag, succeeding only in getting itself impaled on the hook.

For the next four hours, the squid tried to get itself off the hook as the camera snapped away every 30 seconds, gaining not only unprecedented pictures but also precious information about how the squid is able to propel itself.

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

When the severed limb was brought up to the surface, its huge suckers were still able to grip the boat deck and any fingers that touched them -- testimony indeed to the myths of yore, that spoke of monstrous arms that grabbed ships and hauled them to their doom.
Okay, that's just creepy.

The wonders of the depths...


At 1:36 PM, Blogger Nathan said...

Kinda makes you wonder what other fun creatures lie unknown in the deep.

At 1:56 AM, Blogger The Unknowable said...

I think i had one of those in my kicken sink the other day. thats why i dont do dishes.

At 9:57 AM, Blogger Tyler said...

Spencer - they are all ultimately connected....


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