September 30, 2005


Check out this year-old piece from the New Yorker on one man's obsessive quest to find a live giant squid… before it's too late. No, really, it's bar none the most fascinating piece about deep-water invertebrates that I've ever read. And I bring this up only because last week Japanese scientists took the first-ever live photographs of the beast:


Eyes like dinner-plates! Tentacles that can kill whales! Give it an 'ooh' and an 'aah', people! Incidentally, the New Yorker piece notes that there's some debate over what the squid's famous ink-spray actually does—does it just act as a smokescreen, making it hard for attackers to see, or does it actually have some sort of chemical in it that either irritates or hurts or disables predators? Even squids that live in very, very deep water, where light is nearly non-existent, still shoot out ink in times of trouble, so that's evidence in favor of the latter theory, maybe. Odd that no one knows for sure.
-- Brad Plumer 1:21 PM || ||