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Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Finally! A Giant Squid on Film

It has that grainy, Loch Ness feel to it, but there certainly is a giant squid. Read the story here.

I remember watching a National Geographic special a number of years ago where a bunch of marine biologist folks managed to place a camera on the head of a sperm whale with a big suction cup. The idea for that is the fact sperm whales are the giant squid's one natural enemy. The whale (the Moby Dick version) make tremendous dives of nearly a quarter of a mile or more into the murky darkness of the ocean and with a clicking sonar sound navigate themselves to where the squid live. Once they recognize a squid, it is stunned by a blast of sound and the whale snaps its jaws around the thing. On this particular episode, we saw no squid.

In this instance, some Japanese guys set up a bait trap of ground shrimp with an attached camera taking pictures every 30 seconds or so. One squid, about 26 feet long, made its way to the bait, got itself snared on the hooks, but broke free leaving a tentacle behind.

Twenty-Six feet is not all that big. I want to see one of those 90 footers. You know, the ones that drag boats to the bottom. I can recall reading Kon Tiki as a kid. The story about the sociologist who believed Peruvians settled in the South Pacific by using rafts to sail across the Pacific. They built their own raft and launched out into the ocean. They actually made it, but one of the amazing stories they tell is how at night, giant squid came to the surface to feed. The plankton collected around the squid's eyes and so when they swam up under the raft, enormous round saucers could be seen darting right under the surface of the water. It still creeps me out to this day.

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