Thursday, September 29, 2005

Squid Pro Quo

It's slightly old news, but yesterday Japanese scientists released the first photos ever captured of the elusive giant squid. Prior to these photographs, giant squid have only ever been found dead or dying, most often washed up on shore and on their last legs (ha ha, I'm a freakin' genius).

Though this species of squid is notoriously difficult to observe, it apparently can't resist the delectable aroma of a bag of mashed shrimp. The scientists hung a small squid on long lines attached to cameras that took pictures every thirty seconds. The shrimp was the added come-hither finger beckon to the whole sexy package.

Eventually a squid went for the lowest hanging bait. What ensued was a four-hour struggle to untangle one of its longer tentacles. How it ended was a nine-armed squid and an eighteen foot length of still-sucking calamari being hauled aboard a research boat.

This fucked my shit right up.

To be clear: yes, scientific innovation, big strides in marine biology, blazing new territory, that's all great, but what's most important to me, the layman, the Average Joe consumer of scientific information, the occasional ocean swimmer is that this is an actual species of animal. With eighteen foot tentacles. Willing to rip off its own appendages to evade capture. Who recedes back into the uncharted deep. Who lives in unspeakable darkness.

And sharpens its teeth on pirate bones and plays the eerie soundtrack to its mysterious existence on four or five out of tune violins.

No, really, I'm not scared of the giant squid. Mostly because I've never been in close proximity to the giant squid, but that's neither here nor there. But how is it that there are things in the world with eighteen foot tentacles that we've never seen? Eighteen feet of space in Manhattan would cost you roughly $486.38 cents per year (according to a study I just read about the worst cities for renters. It's so cool how New York wins everything.) And that's just eighteen feet of unoccupied air (heat included). How is it even an option that there is eighteen feet of sucking, strangling, disembodied flesh in the world that we, for all of our history as a species, have never been able to get our hands on? This kind of news leaves me with no choice but to consider the millions of white-eyed, many-legged things that may live in the places we can't see. There are bacteria living in your intestines right now, and who's to say there isn't a species of unicorn that lives in the folds of their DNA or whatever. Very small, poop-bacteria-dwelling unicorns. You know what I mean? It's at once an awe-inspiring and totally nauseating thought.

additionally, how is it possible that they aren't going to make half a ton of seafood fra diavlo out of that tentacle?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

poop unicorns. totally deep.

ms. texas

10:14 AM  
Anonymous mombi said...

i wonder if there's any piece of earth on earth that hasn't been trod upon

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mombi - there is! in fact, only this month in california a 400-foot waterfall was discovered! 400 feet!

4:13 PM  
Anonymous mombi said...

awesome! bet the only indian that knew about it was shot with a musket.

1:17 PM  

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