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Giant Squid Caught Near Japan

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the she's-a-biggun dept.

Science 110

Frankenbuffer writes "Researchers on a quest to find a live giant squid succeeded in filming one south of Tokyo. They used a smaller bait squid to lure the giant squid to the water's surface. The giant squid, a young female about 7 metres long, put up quite a fight as it was brought aboard the research vessel. It died in the process. The researchers believe that giant squid may be more plentiful that believed previously. From the article: '"Sperm whales need from 500 to 1,000 kilograms of food every day," he said. "There are believed to be 200,000 or so of them, and that would suggest there are quite a few squid for them to be feeding on. I don't think they are in danger of extinction at all." Having filmed the squid, Mr. Kubodera said his next goal is to further study the creatures' habits in their natural surroundings -- at a depth of around 650 metres.'"

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110 comments

Well... (5, Funny)

garion888 (1042184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337274)

"The giant squid, a young female about 7 metres long, put up quite a fight as it was brought aboard the research vessel" You'd put up quite a fight if you knew you'd be performing in live action tentacle-porn too...

Re:Well... (5, Funny)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337486)

"The giant squid, a young female about 7 metres long, put up quite a fight as it was brought aboard the research vessel" You'd put up quite a fight if you knew you'd be performing in live action tentacle-porn too..."

Correction: Live action LESBIAN tentacle porn.

Makes all the difference.

Actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17339410)

I think I'm a little confused here.

As long as I'm the only one supplying said "tentacle" in this "live action lesbian porn", then I'd be fighting too... to make sure I'm in it!!!

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17339610)

Apparently Live action lesbian necrophilliac tentacle porn.

Re:Well... (1)

kimgkimg (957949) | more than 7 years ago | (#17340172)

"N... T... NT... Tentacles... Big difference!"

Maybe I just haven't seen enough tentacle porn... (1)

David Gould (4938) | more than 7 years ago | (#17343158)

Maybe I just haven't seen enough tentacle porn, but it occurred to me to wonder, and I'm sure the collective intelligence of Slashdot can answer this: are the tentacle monsters always male? Where are the female tentacle monsters? Given the... uhhh... wide variety of interests already represented, there must be people who'd like to see them.

Maybe the female tentacle monster goes around attacking men more-or-less the same way the male ones do with women? Or maybe to have an "all (including the monster) lesbian tentacle porn? Or maybe a happy ending where the scientists manage to get the male and the female tentacle monster back together and they attack each other? What about a hermaphrodite tentacle monster, with both boy tentacles and girl tentacles?

Okay, for that last one, the answer is probably "sure, they exist, but you don't see them come up and terrorize Japanese towns because they're happy staying where they are and just attacking themselves". But in any case, are there any examples that use these ideas? Or have I managed to out-weird the entire tentacle-porn industry?

Re:Maybe I just haven't seen enough tentacle porn. (1)

justchris (802302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17345702)

No, tentacle monsters are not always male, but yes, they are predominately male. Some of the female ones do go around attacking men, but most of them still attack women, some even attack women and men at the same time.

Hemaphroditic tentacle monsters are actually pretty common, too, but I have to say I've never seen, or heard about, a boy tentacle monster and girl tentacle monster getting together. Poor, poor unrequited tentacle love :(

Re:Well... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338148)

And become sushi afterward. You can't enjoy tentacle porn without sushi.

Re:Well... (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17343714)

They gone and fucked up now, boy. Wait until the giant squids hear that we tried to lure one of their children into a life of tentacle porn vice. The shit will hit the fan.

Sorry but I couldnt help myself :( (0, Offtopic)

sam_paris (919837) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337302)

In soviet Japan, giant squid catches you!

Tentacle Porn (0, Troll)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337318)

Queue all Japanese Tentacle Porn [wikipedia.org] jokes in 3... 2... 1...

Watched the episode a few weeks ago... (3, Informative)

GuyverDH (232921) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337346)

The problem with trying to watch at around 610 meters, is that the pictures were taken at over 1000 meters, if I recall the show correctly, it may have been closer to 1300 or 1500 meters.

The squid put up a fight because one of it's tentacles was caught on one of the hooks that the bait was attached to. It eventually detached or snapped off the tentacle to escape, leaving the Dr. with one very long piece of evidence attached to the hook.

It was a very interesting show. It also showed another researcher working on the other end of the spectrum, capturing live baby giant squid, attempting to get them to live in captivity.

Re:Watched the episode a few weeks ago... (2, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337442)

Reminds me of that time this documentarian wanted to film me. I wan't all that into it, so the bastard tore my arm off. Journalists, eh?

Re:Watched the episode a few weeks ago... (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337448)

excellent show.

they dropped bait attached to a rope, and also on the rope was a camera pointed at the bait taking pictures at regular intervals.

the photos weren't great quality, but it was pretty obvious that it was a giant squid.

Re:Watched the episode a few weeks ago... (1)

VickiM (920888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337510)

I think you're refering to the wrong giant squid.

That one got away. This one was captured, but died in the process. The image in the link seems to show them trying to pull it up at the surface of the water, not at 1000 meters.

Re:Watched the episode a few weeks ago... (3, Informative)

woohoodonuts (734070) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338010)

On top of that, the claim about the squid in this particular article is incorrect. The giant squid is not the largest invertebrate. The Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, or colossal squid, is. Also, the claims of 18 meters, 60 feet, are exaggerated due to stretching after death. The colossal squids are generally accepted to be around 45 to 50 feet in length.

Re:Watched the episode a few weeks ago... (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341352)

Its people like you that force me to use my measurement widget. The parent was talking meters and you come out with this feet shit!

Re:Watched the episode a few weeks ago... (1)

GregGardner (66423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337588)

The show you watched is at least a few months old. If you read the article, this incident occurred on Dec 4, 2006, just over 2 weeks ago. And the picture shows the squid actually coming to the surface of the water. It's not some really dark, black and white image of the squid like the one in the show you saw, but a clear-as-day, color snapshot of the thing.

Dinner! (1)

El Torico (732160) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337380)

That's a lot of ika nigiri!

Obligatory Aliens Quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17337424)

It died in the process.

They killed him taking it off.

Tomorrow's Article (4, Funny)

splutty (43475) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337444)

Giant squid sold to Japanese Sushi bar for record amount.

Reuters (JP): The giant squid captured yesterday for study, has been sold to an up-scale Japanese Sushi Bar for a record amount of $170,000, thus providing a needed extra bit of money for the research team, according to spokesman Tsunemi Kubodera. The Sushi Bar is currently booked full for the next week.

Re:Tomorrow's Article (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338346)

Not likely, the giant squid's tissues are saturated with ammonium chloride.

Re:Tomorrow's Article (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 7 years ago | (#17340320)

mmm, salty and sour ikakyu-maki

Re:Tomorrow's Article (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 7 years ago | (#17340726)

those into golden rain and watersports might like the taste. Judging by certain genre of their porn, japan has some folk like that.

Re:Tomorrow's Article (1)

Shai-kun (728212) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342764)

saturated with ammonium chloride

Hmm, salty licorice squid! [wikipedia.org] It's probably an acquired taste.

Re:Tomorrow's Article (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 7 years ago | (#17344304)

Must be the same people who think lutefisk [wikipedia.org] is a gourmet delicacy.

extinction (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17337452)

I don't think they are in danger of extinction at all

I'd feel better if that were determined to be a fact BEFORE you started accidentally killing them.

Re:extinction (4, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337742)

I'm not convinced it was terribly accidental - attempts in New Zealand to catch baby giant squid failed because they were too fragile to be caught, and the previous attempt to film a giant squid resulted in a tentacle being ripped off. The Japanese aren't stupid and aren't ignorant, ergo they knew damn well that the approach they were using was likely to cause grievous and possibly fatal injuries.


I am much more bothered by this attitude of "oh well, doesn't matter how many we kill", though, than with the incident itself. It is wholly unacceptable that ANY scientist would hold the attitude that brainlessness is acceptable, that extreme interference with what you are studying could even produce useful results even if it were acceptable (sorry, but that has not been accepted in any branch of science for nigh on 100 years), or that the level of endangerment can be measured by how many you destroy (sheer ignorance and a pathetic excuse for an intellect).


This is not the only area in which species otherwise classed as threatened or endangered have been labelled as free to plunder, and Japan is far from the only nation guilty of such abominable practices. Scientists with any kind of respect for their profession or for the world in which they live should make it clear that such attitudes are not professionally accepted and that researchers who would freely destroy the subjects of their research have no place in the modern scientific community.

Re:extinction (1)

GuyverDH (232921) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338082)

Hmmm - and how are you going to stop the sperm whales from eating them day in and day out.
I'm sure they eat more in a day, than we've caught or killed in all of human history so far.

Re:extinction (1)

triffid_98 (899609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17340980)

I'll take explosive tipped whaling harpoons for 1000 Alex

Hmmm - and how are you going to stop the sperm whales from eating them day in and day out. I'm sure they eat more in a day, than we've caught or killed in all of human history so far.

Remember, you ARE talking about the Japanese (1)

pilot-programmer (822406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338400)

I am much more bothered by this attitude of "oh well, doesn't matter how many we kill", though, than with the incident itself.

I don't know what else you expect from the people who kill a lot of whales each year, take a quick look at stomach contents, and call the process scientific research.

extreme interference with (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338754)

that extreme interference with what you are studying could even produce useful results

then why dissect frogs? I'd say that qualifies as extreme interference with what you are studying...

Good point. (1)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#17344584)

Dissecting frogs that were alive has produced nothing of significant value in science. Most of the research that has produced valuable results (the discovery that electricity can stimulate muscles, for example, and the anatomy of frogs) has not required the killing of animals to achieve.


In the case of giant squids, we already know the anatomy and physiology, from previous finds. We don't need mere case studies that reveal nothing new, we need new data on the stuff we CAN'T find out from the remains of giant squid that have been salvaged. A hundred near-identical remains adds no new information. (Well, not quite true - you can use DNA analysis to get an idea of genetic diversity, so in that case the additional cases would add something. But even there, it makes bugger all difference to the research if the subject is alive or dead. Killing the subject doesn't benefit you at all.)


Animal experimentation has produced mixed results - aspirin and caffeine are lethal to most animals, and many medicines tested successfully on animals were later rejected after human studies showed them unsuitable. At present, better alternatives are limited to non-existant, but that's just a matter of time to fix. The process is simply not producing data of nearly sufficient quality to justify continuing it once suitable alternatives of sufficient quality have been developed.


However, this is not in the same league at all. In animal experiments - however crappy the results - you are at least getting results that you can't get by other means. Mortally injuring giant squids and then examining the remains is telling you exactly NOTHING that you couldn't obtain by other means. Alive, you can learn much about the squid that is unknown today. Obtain a corpse, and you can study something about the lives and deaths of these animals and therefore learn something about their natural environment. Killing them tell you... that they're not monsters from a really bad sci-fi movie, but not a whole lot more.

Re:extinction (1)

Bitsy Boffin (110334) | more than 7 years ago | (#17344134)

Not to mention that the idea of bringing a live giant squid that could at least take off your arm aboard your boat, seems like a darwin award in the making.

Re:extinction (1)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#17344638)

They have a great deal of muscle power, but zero tensile strength. If they tried to pull a human arm off, I suspect you'd end up with them rendered mostly 'armless.


Actually, a much better trap for a giant squid would be to have a cylinder with closeable doors at each end and bait in the middle. When the squid enters, close the doors. The squid can't injure itself in such an enclosure, is kept at uniform pressure, is kept in water, and can readily be transferred to an enclosure such as an aquarium. Such devices are routinely used for catching live aquatic life that would not survive a net and also for taking water samples at pre-specified depths with no risk of contamination, and have been used very successfully in both fields for at least 30 years.


I figured out that you could build such a device for catching a giant squid at the full 6 mile depth that they usually live and keep them at that pressure. It would not be trivial - the walls would need to be fairly thick to withstand the pressure from the inside pushing out, once you got it to the surface - but it's well within the design specs of the larger oil pipes in use today, so is perfectly doable. Now, if you can catch giant squid much closer to the surface than that, then it's even better - you could easily construct a device that operated at a few thousand feet.

Re:extinction (1)

Bitsy Boffin (110334) | more than 7 years ago | (#17344952)

I was thinking more along the lnes of that ruddy great beak biting you in half, not the tentacles pulling you to bits.

Re:extinction (1)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#17345254)

Yes, I can see that someone wishing to test out their dentistry skills on a Giant Squid would likely discover some severe disadvantages in being trapped inside a gigantic clamplike device.

Re:extinction (1)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337746)

or was that 'determined' BECAUSE they accidentily killed one.

Re:extinction (1)

Ender Ryan (79406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337844)

It's a very difficult animal to study. Do you want to take a shot at it? No? Do you even have any suggestions for them? No? Then STFU.

Re:extinction (1)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337920)

Here's a suggestion: Don't try catching what may be an endangered animal until you can be sure you won't kill them in the process. Jackass.

Re:extinction (1)

Lost Engineer (459920) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342032)

Oh, now we have to protect "may be endangered" animals too. Besides, I seriously doubt any sort of human habits are affecting a creature that lives at those depths. If it's almost extinct, it's because of natural selection.

Re:extinction (1)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 7 years ago | (#17343108)

I never said we need to protect it, just that we shouldn't go around killing it in an attempt to study it if we have no real clue about the numbers.

Re:extinction (1)

oni (41625) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338098)

I have to agree. Come on. If every Sperm Whale out there is eating a hundred of these things every day, then it has to be OK for us to kill one or two so that we can learn about them. It would be better if we could study without harm - but right now that's not possible.

It seems really shortsighted to me to say, "OMFG EWE KILLD TEH PRETTY ANEMAL" as if that is the only issue on the table.

Re:extinction (1)

eyeye (653962) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338352)

if... from the article that just seems like pure conjecture. These people have basically killed some rare creature and are now acting like proud hunters "yeah it died but it was THIS BIG!!!".

The Japanese are also well known for killing whales "for research" and then eating them. It wouldn't surprise me if Japan's markets are suddenly awash with squid meat.

Re:extinction (1)

profplump (309017) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339878)

These people have basically killed some rare creature
That's pure conjecture too. There's no evidence about the population size one way or the other.

Re:extinction (1)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 7 years ago | (#17340764)

It's not rare.

Just cause Man can't catch giant squid doesn't mean that we can't study it, or that other mammals aren't studying it.

Colossal and Giant squid form a majority of the diet of adult sperm whales, which have a population of around 200,000. Ergo, there must be quite a few giant/colossal squid out there, and given that we're talking about 1-2 caught per _year_ for research, it's not a big deal. Perhaps we'll learn something from these carcassas that will actually enable us to grow them in captivity, or to enhance their survivability in the wild.

"Many Sperm whales carry scars on their backs believed to be caused by the hooks of Colossal Squid. Colossal Squid are a major prey item for Antarctic sperm whales feeding in the Southern Ocean; 14% of the squid beaks found in the stomachs of these sperm whales are those of the Colossal Squid, which indicates that Colossal Squid make up 77% of the biomass consumed by these whales.[2] Many other animals also feed on this squid, including the beaked whales (such as the bottlenose whales), Pilot Whale, Southern Elephant Seal, Patagonian toothfish, Pacific sleeper shark, and albatross (e.g., the Wandering and Sooty albatrosses). However, beaks from mature adults have only been recovered from those animals large enough to take such prey (i.e., the sperm whale and Pacific sleeper shark), while the remaining predators are limited to eating juveniles or young adults."

We're talking about a couple specimens a year, while every time we've found a sperm whale carcass, or have caught a sperm whale, it's been determined that their primary prey is squid.

I'm worried about the whale population, but I'm not too worried about squid hunting. I am more worried about habitat destruction, but until we learn more about the animal we won't even know what its habitat is.

Re:extinction (1)

iamlucky13 (795185) | more than 7 years ago | (#17343910)

Well said. Exactly the point I was going to make.

Several posters seem to think that because we haven't directly studied giant squids very much that we don't have even a remote clue how many there are. However, it is quite obvious from the fact that sperm and other species of whales eat these animals in abundance that they're numbers are not insignificant.

Sacrificing a specimen for research may be long term beneficial for the health of the species. As the parent noted, we may learn something from this that will allow them to be successfully studied in captivity. Furthermore, by dissecting the animal, researchers can look for any clues of human factors influencing their health or habitat, and thereby understand what activities may adversely affect their populations.

Re:extinction (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17344992)

Many other animals also feed on this squid, including the beaked whales ... and albatross

Soldier #1: What? An albatross carrying a colossal squid?
Arthur: It could grip it by the hood!
Soldier #1: It's not a question of where he grips it! It's a simple question of weight ratios! A twenty five kilo bird could not carry a half-tonne squid.
Arthur: Well, it doesn't matter. Will you go and tell your master that Arthur from the Court of Camelot is here?

Re:extinction (1)

bskin (35954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17345576)

It's a very difficult animal to study. Do you want to take a shot at it? No? Do you even have any suggestions for them? No? Then STFU.

I could see this as coming across as a little trite, but...

Is there really any intrinsic need to study them? I'm guessing what an in depth study would mostly discover is "they're like just about any other squid, only a lot fucking bigger."

Re:extinction (3, Interesting)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338368)

Not accidental.

Their blood is swimming with what is basically anti-freeze.

At the sort of temperatures found in their native depths, their blood works fine.

Pull them up to anywhere near the surface and their blood cannot transport oxygen - they suffocate.

Personally, I'm horrified. These people have spent a *bundle* of our money (tax revenue) and killed a living creature - and for what?

Re:extinction (1)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 7 years ago | (#17348348)

To learn about it. Sometimes you gotta kill something to learn about it. Its all for the greater good in the end. If they are endangered the information learned from their bodies will help us save them when the time comes.

One individual is not the entire species.

Re:extinction (1)

Twixter (662877) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338738)

Hey, they didn't try to accidentally kill it. I mean, it put up a fight. I'm sure they expected it to come along peacefully.

Recursive squid! (4, Funny)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337454)

They used a smaller bait squid to lure the giant squid to the water's surface.

Does that mean that we can use this squid to get an even BIGGER squid?

Re:Recursive squid! (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337514)

Dude yes. It's all part of a plan to capture and study a giant space squid that's so big there's fusion reactions going on in its 'nads. It will be used to power Japan's big Evangelion biomechs.
Well it makes sense to me!

Re:Recursive squid! (0)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337562)

...swallowed the squid to catch the squid, she swallowed the squid to catch the squid, she swallowed the sperm whale *snigger* to catch the squid...

She was japanese.

Re:Recursive squid! (1)

joto (134244) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338202)

..swallowed the squid to catch the squid, she swallowed the squid to catch the squid, she swallowed the sperm whale *snigger* to catch the squid...
She was japanese.

Easy now!

Re:Recursive squid! (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339874)

> ...swallowed the squid to catch the squid, she swallowed the squid to catch the squid, she swallowed the sperm whale *snigger* to catch the squid...
>She was japanese.

...by proxy.

Re:Recursive squid! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17337796)

Well, you can use the giant squid to catch a sperm whale, and then you could use the dead sperm whale to catch a new reality tv show.

Re:Recursive squid! (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17340120)

Duh, there's always a bigger squid.

So if they filmed it... (1)

Kimos (859729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337466)

Where's the video?

Re:So if they filmed it... (5, Informative)

Patentmat (846401) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337636)

The video is right here: (mod please)

http://today.reuters.com/tv/videoChannel.aspx?stor yId=0e4daf2c9503387b6a614482bc1d5d8a4ae79972&rpc=2 3 [reuters.com]

After the video ends be sure to watch the video of super-electricity man and the new Swiss jetpack

Video says 3.5 meters (2, Interesting)

Jtheletter (686279) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339226)

Thanks for the video link. Anyone else notice the reporter in the video said the captured squid was only 3.5 meters, not ~7 as the other articles claim? Maybe they were only referring to the body and not body + tentacles? From what you can see in the video it looks a lot closer to only being 11 ft long rather than 22ft. Quick meter-to-foot estimate, go easy on me. ;)

Where is everybody? (1)

n9hmg (548792) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337492)

as soon as I saw this on foxnews.com, I ran straight to /. for inside information. Nothing but standard cliches? Somebody out there's got to have that video.

Re:Where is everybody? (1)

n9hmg (548792) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338012)

D'OH! I guess everybody else jumped in about the same time I did. Thanks for the links.

Standard Cliches? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17338954)

OK, does it run linux?

Fox News? (0, Flamebait)

mr_luc (413048) | more than 7 years ago | (#17340330)

First, no offense, but you saw this on foxnews.com? Was this one of those "best to know what tunes the Devil is playing" things? Or do you have some other acceptable explanation, like ... being retarded?

Second, if you see a story on Fox News, that might be a tip-off that it's the kind of soft news Slashdot may not bring its A-game for.

Cthulhu ... (2, Funny)

lorg (578246) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337528)

... will not be pleased by these actions.

Not new at all (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337550)

Giant squids have been found on other planets before [sadgeezer.com] , nothing new. I wonder if the crew of the japanese boat committed suicide though...

So....? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17337568)

I guess Calamari's on the menu today then?

End result? (2, Insightful)

psylew (733959) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337592)

So they found one alive and... killed it. That's helpful. I'm sure they can learn fascinating things by studying one that was recently alive, but there's got to be a better way.

Re:End result? (3, Interesting)

aapold (753705) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337902)

That was pretty much my response too... they killed it. Can those things even take being under the far less pressure near the surface water? Once they had it hooked, you think they could have sent a diver down at some intermediary depth to film it...

I guess this is new territory and they're learning things (like, if you pull a giant squid to the surface, it dies), so I guess I can give them a pass this time. But yeah, there has to be a better way.

Those eyes are just unnerving, think I read somewhere that they have the largest eyes of any known creature... no idea on how large their brains are, but you'd have to think it is uncharted territory in terms of invertebrates. I'm not with PETA or anything, but I have to wonder what it was thinking as it was hauled up to its death, fighting the entire way...

Re:End result? (1)

salec (791463) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338500)

Can those things even take being under the far less pressure near the surface water?
It seems like most important question indeed. Describing baby giant squids as "fragile" seems to imply that it may be the problem. It was the problem with some very deep sea creatures: when they surfaced them, they fell apart. At the very least, those squids may be more prone to ... well, ... "catastrophic failure" up here.

Re:End result? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338780)

Once they had it hooked, you think they could have sent a diver down at some intermediary depth to film it...

You first. Have a nice swim with the giant squid. Let me know how that turns out if you come back.

Re:End result? (1)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339324)

"You first. Have a nice swim with the giant squid. Let me know how that turns out if you come back."

Yeah, because it's not like we have protective devices that have been used to study other dangerous aquatic animals. That's why we have no footage of sharks in the wild right?

Re:End result? (1)

Poohsticks (921205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17340276)

Dude, these things eat WHALES. Do you really think we've got any protective gear that would stand up to that???

Re:End result? (1)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 7 years ago | (#17340676)

Unless whales are made out of metal then yes. I'm talking about anti-shark cages (probably reinforced) here, not some fruity chainmail suit.

Re:End result? (2, Interesting)

cavefrog (1015175) | more than 7 years ago | (#17342388)

I'm talking about anti-shark cages (probably reinforced) here, not some fruity chainmail suit.

Reminds me of those tests where a marine biologist puts a live crab in a jar then lets an octopus have a go at it. It takes only seconds for the octopus to open it and retrieve it's lunch.

I know a steel cage is an entirely different story, but I'm having fun imagining what a giant squid might be able to do to one of these, and better yet what the diver might be thinking when it tries...

Re:End result? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17345418)

Let me get this straight.

Cage goes in the water. Diver goes in the cage.

Squid's in the water. OUR squid.

Fare thee well, fare thee well, Spanish ladies!

Fine, fine ladies of Spain!

For, on the morrow, I sail back to boston,

and so, nevermore, shall I see you - again!

Re:End result? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17344038)

Yes, sharks that get studied from 1-20 meters underwater. Not 500+ meters. If it's the pressure difference alone that kills them, and not the stress or exertion (if you ever as a kid caught a grasshopper by it's hind legs only to have it jump so hard it tore it's legs off, you know what I'm talking about), then 20 meters might as well be the surface. The difference between 20 meters underwater and 0 is about 30 psi. The difference between 20 meters and 500 is about 700 psi.

You can't dive that deep without a pressure vessel, which severely limits your dexterity. Once you do get that deep, you can't see a whole lot, which is part of why the squid are so hard to find. Furthermore, I believe giant squid tend to be very shy of bright lights. Note the big eyes.

Also, sharks don't have tentacles (they can't reach through the bars of a cage), and they're behavior is somewhat understood...enough so that experienced divers can swim freely with even great whites when they're calm.

Re:End result? (1)

ReTay (164994) | more than 7 years ago | (#17343868)

"Once they had it hooked, you think they could have sent a diver down at some intermediary depth to film it..."

Hey right behind you wild man.

"Those eyes are just unnerving, think I read somewhere that they have the largest eyes of any known creature..."

You almost answered your own question.
Gee lets hook something and really piss it off and they send someone down to play with it.

Re:End result? (1)

kneemoe (1042818) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339650)

my only question is, who on the team was killed first?

(anyone else see the parallel to 'the life aquatic')

CNN actaully has the video (4, Informative)

CXI (46706) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337614)

You can see the video linked on CNN's article (after an ad of course):

http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/science/12/22/giant.s quid.ap/index.html [cnn.com]

Re:CNN actaully has the video (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 7 years ago | (#17345714)

any links to videos that play in something other than MS Windows?

idiots (4, Funny)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337732)

are they TRYING to awaken Cthulhu?

Re:idiots (1)

DoctaWatson (38667) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341190)

Well, 'tis the season. [youtube.com]

Bad news for giant squid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17337808)

The japanese don't exactly have a good record with endangered species. Seeing as this guy has taken an interest and has now decided without any proof that they're not endangered somehow I don't see giant squid making it to the 22nd century...

Quick! (1)

Zero Degrez (1039938) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338194)

This is obviously a scout sent by the creature.

Awaken Godzilla and pals, we must defend Tokyo from the giant squid monster!

Stop saying these are "endangered" (1)

puargsss (731990) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338356)

It's ludicrous to say these animals are endangered in any fashion. Wikipedia's page has reference-cited information that the giant squid's bigger cousin, the Colossal Squid [wikipedia.org] could possibly make up as much as 77% of the biomass consumed by Sperm Whales [wikipedia.org] , whose numbers are listed as ranging from at minimum 200,000 to a maximum 2,000,000 individuals [wikipedia.org] . The Colossal Squid is seen even less by science, and the beaks of them are found nearly as often in the stomachs of Sperm Whales.

Giant Squid are in no shape, way, or fashion rare. They are simply too fast, too unpredictable, spread over too large an area, and live in such a deep range that they are very hard for humans to find. They are fragile creatures on the surface, they fall apart quite easily, especially when reaching shallower depths, making them an ideal target for scavengers; they would die quickly if they stayed near the surface for too long. This means that not only are you not apt to find a live one, but dead ones are mostly eaten by other animals or deteriorate long before reaching shore. It is very rare to find one washed ashore. This does NOT mean that the animal itself is rare or endangered.

Stop saying scientists are selfish in attempting to recover 2-3 specimens of an animal which probably numbers (at least) in the hundreds of thousands. They are trying to document a species in order to HELP its survival, not destroy it. You should be encouraging them, not discouraging them from researching this animal. It takes thousands of animals being harvested monthly to put a dent in a robust species like this, and since we have only seen a rare few of them, it's only natural to want to see more. Don't be ridiculous and think about one or two dying for science as a problem when hundreds, even thousands of them are being eaten daily by Sperm Whales, Pacific Sleeper Sharks, and possibly other species. Taking the Peter Rabbit approach to a creature like this ("Aww, poor Giant Squid!") is detrimental not only to science, but to your understanding of the world.

Also, you can't eat this animal, and no Japanese have any interest in eating it. On top of this, any who DID would be sorely disappointed, as the animal has a *high* ammonia content, too strong to eat safely, and so strong in fact that even being in a room with a piece of it would make you lose your appetite.

Re:Stop saying these are "endangered" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17341110)

Bullshit!
Tha Japanese have diplayed a propensity to eat copious amounts of nearly everything that crawls, swims and fly's over this earth.
They not only eat the meat of an animal, they eat the gut's, nut's and anus of ever phylum.
Asian cultures are the only place on earth you can purchase BBQ'd, marinated chicken asshole on a bamboo stick.
If it's alive they'll find a way to eat it, even if they have to marinate it in quick lime and salt cure it for a year.
The worlds richest billionaires are lining up right now for a slice of that rare squid.
Ever watched Iron Chef Japan, these people scrape feeces out of animal intestinenes, pass it through a fine mesh screen, wok fry it with chili paste then rest eyeballs on a bed of shit. These people eat more krill than baleen whales, what the hell do you think shrimp paste is. It's krill, rotted and dried by the sun, processed through grinders, rotted and dried by the sun, processed through grinders then made into small cakes.
The entire world wonders why nearly every flu and sickness originates in an asian environment.

Re:Stop saying these are "endangered" (1)

puargsss (731990) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341208)

I live in Nagoya, anonymous coward. Also, you are a jerk.

Re:Stop saying these are "endangered" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17341952)

Name one thing I proclaimed as fact that isn't a fact.
You people eat every creature that lives and you also eat every portion of every animal that every other culture discards as being a disease infesting route which has the potential to harm others.
Yakitori bar, need I say more!
Your not doing a sientific study of Architeuthis, your doing a culinary study of the best way to serve it with powdered rhino horn on a silver platter encrusted with blood diamonds and inlaid ivory hand carved sea dragons. The ultimate surf and turf.

Re:Stop saying these are "endangered" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17342266)

I'll bet you $20 dollars that within 20 years you can purchase Architeuthis infused Saki at every eatery that charges more than $200.00 dollars just for the privilege of walking in the front door.
You don't serve umbrellas or olives in your drinks at high end restaurants. You serve once living Saki embalmed Lizards posed as if they are climbing out of the glass or the still beating hearts of endangered turtles.

+1! (1)

Hubec (28321) | more than 7 years ago | (#17346084)

Absolutely, thank you. Anyone who is wringing there hands about the loss of this single squid must consider how little we know about the species. In fact we know so little right now that we could inadvertently alter their environment in a way that would result in the death of millions and never realize it. We must learn as much as we can about these animals that increasingly appear to comprise a significant role in the oceans' ecosystem. This is actually a relatively important area of scientific study.

Obligatory... (1)

Hellpop (451893) | more than 7 years ago | (#17338986)

I, for one, welcome our new giant tentacled overlords!!

But I think we will be very busy shaking hands for a while...

kraken but no bigfoot!?! (1)

scatteredsun (981481) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339048)

giant squid caught....next stop, SASQUATCH! go Dib go!

Oblig. Futurama (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17339256)

Farnsworth: Sweet Zombie Jesus! It's huge!
Amy: It's coming up!
Hermes: Oh, that's big!
Farnsworth: A colossal-mouth bass!

Fish tales... (1)

zolaar (764683) | more than 7 years ago | (#17340376)

The giant squid, a young female about 7 metres long, put up quite a fight as it was brought aboard the research vessel.


I swear, Bob... the squid gets bigger every time you tell that story...

extreme retro = kill new (1)

revxul (463513) | more than 7 years ago | (#17340620)

Hey we found something! Awesome! Lets bring it on board and kill it! We haven't seen any more but it'll be okay if we say we think there are a lot more.

Re:extreme retro = kill new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17343948)

Hey Einstein

The creature in question happens to comprise the majority of a sperm whales diet.
They are no more endangered then Liberals.
Now pull your head out for a change

Cryptozoology: (1)

Fyz (581804) | more than 7 years ago | (#17341198)

Cryptozoology, n.: The study of animals that don't exist.
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