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Giant Squid Washed Ashore in Australia

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the don't-try-to-make-calamari dept.

Science 149

twofish writes "Yahoo News is reporting that the carcass of a giant squid, nearly 8 meters in length, washed ashore in Australia on Wednesday. The creature's mantle is over two meters in length and almost a full meter across. The creature, stretched out, is in total more than eight meters long. 'Scientists would take samples from the creature, identified by state parks officials as an Architeuthis, which can grow to more than 10 meters (33 feet) in length and weigh more than 275 kilograms (606 pounds). The Tasmanian animal was 250 kg ... Giant squid, once believed to be mythical despite occasional sightings by mariners, feed on fish and other squid. Last year, fishermen off the Falkland Islands caught a complete animal measuring 8.62 meters.'"

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149 comments

Stick (5, Funny)

Eudial (590661) | more than 6 years ago | (#19854677)

Poke it with a stick! Poke it with a stick! I dare you to poke it with a stick!

This article is NOT NEWS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19854761)

Seen on DIGG two days ago. Slashdot = douche water.

Re:This article is NOT NEWS (0, Troll)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 6 years ago | (#19855163)

Heck, it was on *CNN* two days ago. They set a new /. record for lameness on this one :p

slashdot is teh gay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19855621)

amen brotha

Wear it as a hat (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19854897)

as a hat, hat, hatten är din.

Don't drink and post.

This is a reply to your post. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19855007)

I am drinking Warsteiner now with my right hand and mouth and posting with the left. True story..

My keyword to post as AC was "distill." Coincidence?

Re:This is a reply to your post. (2, Funny)

toleraen (831634) | more than 6 years ago | (#19855435)

I am drinking Warsteiner now with my right hand and mouth
I gotta say, I'm a little frightened that you made sure to specify you were consuming Warsteiner through your mouth.

Re:This is a reply to your post. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19855831)

Now having a Rogue Mocha Porter and talking to my friend on gaim about this cute girl that I offered to teach integration by parts to...

Yeah, kind of buzzed now.

Also listening to an Arlo Guthrie record...Alice's Restaurant.

Screw that... (4, Funny)

crovira (10242) | more than 6 years ago | (#19856095)

Besides that, two foot wide calimari rings probably end up tasting like erasers.

Re:Stick (1)

bojan tesanovic (1120087) | more than 6 years ago | (#19856389)

We are explring the universe, while we don't see much then few inches from our nose. Who knows what lies when we open our eyes a bit wider

Re:Stick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19857041)

Who knows what lies when we open our eyes a bit wider

For you I'm guessing it will another shot of tequila.

In Related News.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19856793)

The Squid reportedly stung a small girl with its stingers before washing ashore.
The child was reported to have been shouting "give my daddy back" before being incapacitated by the squid.

Tasmanian Squid (1)

darrenadelaide (860548) | more than 6 years ago | (#19857955)

Thats ok. the squids from Tasmania...

Two headed from imbreeding down that neck of the woods.. a giant squid is nothing new.

Darren
South Australia

I love squid (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19854693)

Of course, I have a lot of cache.

Re:I love squid (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19855261)

Do you know what else is 8 meters long? My squid. Ie, my penis. I'm offering free rides for the ladies out there.

Re:I love squid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19855799)

"Do you know what else is 8 meters long?"

Your prolapsed rectum? I warned you Congressional pages to stay away from Republican politicians.

Re:I love squid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19856037)

"Do you know what else is 8 meters long?"

Your prolapsed rectum?

I think that you meant 8 meters wide [goatse.ch]. (NSFW!)

Re:I love squid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19856207)

That's a LOT of calimari....

Fast food (1, Funny)

scum-e-bag (211846) | more than 6 years ago | (#19854695)

Giant calamari rings anyone?

Re:Fast food (2, Interesting)

American Scum (1126015) | more than 6 years ago | (#19855093)

Last I read, once they get that big they have a high concentration of Ammonia. You'd need a helluva lot of margheritas to wash THAT taste down.

Delicacy to Cleaning agent (5, Interesting)

American Scum (1126015) | more than 6 years ago | (#19855149)

http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/OCEAN_PLANET/HTML/squ id_highlights.html [nasa.gov] "When a giant squid washes ashore, Roper hurries to the site. He takes many photographs and measures the length and width of the squid's body the length of the tentacles and arms, and the width of the eyes. He will add the information to his collection of clues. One clue was discovered at a party when Roper and two other scientists cooked a piece of giant squid. They expected a giant delicacy But it was awful. The taste reminded them of ammonia, a strong-smelling substance. They tested the tissue and found a lot of ammonia. They think that ammonia makes the giant squid less dense than seawater, so it won't sink. It can easily stay at a good level for finding food without constantly swimming and wasting its energy "

Re:Delicacy to Cleaning agent (1)

chawly (750383) | more than 6 years ago | (#19857183)

"It can easily stay at a good level for finding food without constantly swimming and wasting its energy"

We want to keep a thing like that kind of relaxed, eh? Don't want it to get tired or hungry - it might get to be bad tempered.

Re:Fast food (1)

xs650 (741277) | more than 6 years ago | (#19855155)

That would be OK if you wanted calamari rings the size of tractor tires....with the chewability of tractor tire.

Re:Fast food (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#19855291)

That would be OK if you wanted calamari rings the size of tractor tires....with the chewability of tractor tire.

and if you like it in Windex flavor. those things contain a lot of ammonia.

Re:Fast food (1)

phedre (1125345) | more than 6 years ago | (#19855417)

Not a problem! All we have to do is cut it into smaller pieces, throw in the lemon juice and the dipping sauce, and toss into the Blendtec blender! I'm sure it will blend, and thus we can have lemon calamari ammonia smoothies... mmmmmm good.

Re:Fast food (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#19855457)

Tell me the appeal of calamari? I like sushi, I like crab legs, I like shrimp because they all taste good. Calamari only tastes like whatever you fry or dip it in.

Re:Fast food (1)

jafiwam (310805) | more than 6 years ago | (#19855619)

You haven't had good calamari then.

You are right, most is pretty bad. But if you get it at a real seafood place or a fish market (cook yourself) it is very nice.

Re:Fast food (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#19856117)

If it's that hard to get it "right", then it doesn't seem to be very worthwhile, does it?

The definition of a "real" seafood place is pretty nebulous as it is, I've been to a few nice places, chain and non-chain, and quite frankly, I don't care to ever try another one again. Maybe calamari lovers would be better off just admitting that maybe a lot of people are just never going to like it, even if it's done right, it's a heck of a lot easier on everyone.

This probably applies to anything that's subjective, don't assume that the person that doesn't like it didn't experience the proper circumstances, or that they don't understand it or that they aren't enlightened enough. Just live and let live.

Re:Fast food (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 6 years ago | (#19857595)

You don't eat it by itself you fry it in batter and dip it in sauce. Very few foods are meant to be eaten alone.

Re:Fast food (0, Redundant)

semiotec (948062) | more than 6 years ago | (#19855717)

while the calamari jokes are inevitable, I thought I'd point out anyway that apparently giant squids don't taste all that nice due to the high amount of ammonia they have to help buoyancy, and the only creatures that find them tasty (as well as being big enough to eat them) are sperm whales.

There's several more reports and better pictures than the one posted in the summary.

this is why the sea freaks me out (1, Interesting)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#19854737)

it's like an alien environment on our own planet. sure am glad these things are 500m down.

Re:this is why the sea freaks me out (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#19854883)

it's like an alien environment on our own planet. sure am glad these things are 500m down.

Wow, talk about antropocentric logic loops.

Re:this is why the sea freaks me out (0)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 6 years ago | (#19854913)

it's like an alien environment on our own planet. sure am glad these things are 500m down.

Not as alien as you think. We all evolved from down there, you know. It looks alien because we separated a long time ago. Kinda like UK and US, with many customs and cultural elements being different only because they took different paths some time ago, but they both have the same roots. So, if you learn to look more closely, you'll see that there are many similarities and analogies between land and sea (or UK and US), and you probably can recognise them better if you know some natural history or paleontology.

Re:this is why the sea freaks me out (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#19854981)

yes and we all formed from basic elements released in the big bang, it doesn't mean other planets aren't alien to me.

the differences between me and a squid are far greater then the USA vs UK

Re:this is why the sea freaks me out (1)

WhatHappenedToTanith (1126905) | more than 6 years ago | (#19855085)

the differences between me and a squid are far greater then the USA vs UK
I dunno, I have seen some tentacle images/cartoons from Japan that would argue against that point quite thoroughly.

Re:this is why the sea freaks me out (1)

shawn443 (882648) | more than 6 years ago | (#19854975)

Don't be a Sally. I wish I was an underwater Indiana Jones. There must be a sunken civilization or two and some giant squid to fight.

Finding Giant squids more common now? (1)

spineboy (22918) | more than 6 years ago | (#19855469)

I remember only a few years ago, no one had even seen one of these monsters, and now they are washing up on a monthly basis. Is it possible that something has changed in their environment, so as to make them leave it, or kill them?

Re:Finding Giant squids more common now? (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#19855701)

"no one had even seen one of these monsters"

No one had seen a live one, dead ones wash up on the shore quite reqularly in Tassie and NZ although I belive this was the first one found on Tasmania's west coast.

Re:Finding Giant squids more common now? (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 6 years ago | (#19856049)

If nobody had ever seen one a few years ago, how did they get mentioned in Moby Dick?.

rj

Re:Finding Giant squids more common now? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19857857)

This is largely a wild guess, but my theory would be that this is happening as a result of environmental change. I don't think we know for sure.

What we do know is that ice on both polar caps is melting at a tremendously accelerated rate at the moment. All arctic and antarctic ice is fresh water - made from fallen snow. So when this melts into the ocean two things happen. Firstly, the salinity of the sea is reduced - it becomes less salty. Secondly the density of the sea is reduced, since salt water is more dense - and offers more buoyancy - than fresh water.

These two things might have some kind of impact upon giant squid, or their food, or those creatures (largely sperm whales I think) for whom the squid themselves are food.

But you have asked a very important question here, and it would be well worth our while to determine the actual answer to it.

Re:this is why the sea freaks me out (1)

Totally_Tux (452763) | more than 6 years ago | (#19856975)

I just got back from a SCUBA dive this morning at our local reef (Port Noarlunga, South Australia). I got into diving because the underwater world IS so alien. It's 72% of our planet surface normally unseen first hand by most people.

The flora and fauna have adapted to this environment and you get to watch them on their terms, not in an aquarium/zoo. Because we humans are considered aliens in this environment, many of the animals haven't learnt to fear us. Some underwater animals seem to show a large degree of curiosity to humans underwater. Maybe an opportunity to get fed... or perhaps they are wondering "what the HECK is that animal?".

It's Reuters, not Yahoo News (3, Informative)

Pap22 (1054324) | more than 6 years ago | (#19854779)

It's only written on the page 3 times. Give credit where it is due.

Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19854785)

a metric squid.

What the...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19854875)

Oh, right, it's the weekend. Time for Zonk, kdawson and ScuttleMonkey to spam Slashdot with "stories" from their precious Australia.

Wave that flag high boys, wave it high!

Use less repition it says (0, Offtopic)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 6 years ago | (#19854905)

Squid squid squid squid squid squid squid squid. Irresponsible motorcycle riding cephalopods fish other Irresponsible motorcycle riding cephalopods who are also fishing.

Translation for Linux fanbois (5, Funny)

tttonyyy (726776) | more than 6 years ago | (#19854933)

A proxy with a memory leak has segfaulted at Australia's ioctl interface.

Debuggers are taking core samples for analysis.

Re:Translation for Linux fanbois (1)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 6 years ago | (#19855423)

A proxy with a memory leak has segfaulted at Australia's ioctl interface.

Debuggers are taking core samples for analysis.
This kind of crap always happens when Australia's pipes are involved! The debuggers can do what they will in their own sweet time, man, just tell me it was HA and we failed over to a mirror and redirected the DNS entries on the balancer! If not, we'll blame this on GPLv3 or IPv6 or some kind of technology with an 'x' in it... product names with an 'x' always sound cutting edge and therefore dangerous!

Inbreeding? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19855059)

I'm surprised it didn't have two heads, being that it was from Tasmania!

8 Meters? (1)

Paul Slocum (598127) | more than 6 years ago | (#19855167)

I don't understand how they're getting the 8 meters. You can see a guy's shoe in the picture for comparison, and the whole thing looks like it's about 2 meters long. It is big, but I was picturing something more sci-fi style from the description.

Re:8 Meters? (1)

palinurus (111359) | more than 6 years ago | (#19855193)

the article actually says that it's only 2 meters long. there must have been an editorial error converting metric to metric for the posting.

Re:8 Meters? (1)

Paul Slocum (598127) | more than 6 years ago | (#19855225)

It does say it. Probably just be an error in the article or the quotation.

"It's a whopper," Tasmanian Museum senior curator Genefor Walker-Smith told local media on Wednesday. "The main mantle is about one meter across and its total length is about eight meters."

Re:8 Meters? (2, Informative)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 6 years ago | (#19855313)

The mantle, which is to say the body is two meters long. The other 6 is tentacles.

Re:8 Meters? Depends how you measure. (1)

grendelbear (1127851) | more than 6 years ago | (#19855493)

Turns out there is more than one way to measuer a squid :P

Mantle length (as opposed to total length) is the standard measure in cephalopods. Architeuthis is not known to attain a mantle length in excess of 2.25 m. Standard Length (SL) is the length of a squid excluding the tentacles; in Architeuthis this measure very rarely exceeds 5 m.
From: http://www.tonmo.com/science/public/giantsquidfact s.php [tonmo.com]

Re:8 Meters? (1)

Spadgos (962016) | more than 6 years ago | (#19857597)

The body was 2m long, but... "The tentacles had been badly damaged, so the overall length of the animal could not be determined."

Re:8 Meters? (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#19855399)

Total length includes the tentacles, at least one of which is larger and much, much longer than the rest, terminating in a paddle:

== - - - - - - -(:==}

Re:8 Meters? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#19856227)

I don't understand how they're getting the 8 meters. You can see a guy's shoe in the picture for comparison

This is old news so I have to think back, but I recall than the tentacles appear to be chopped off, probably because the squid has been partly eaten. Perhaps the longer length is the estimated length when it was alive.

So many lately (4, Insightful)

LinuxInDallas (73952) | more than 6 years ago | (#19855629)

I'm I the only one who thinks it's strange that all of a sudden there is a relatively large number of giant squid washing up on beaches? We've gone from barely hearing about them to every few months seeing a dead one appear on a beach.

Re:So many lately (1)

sam_paris (919837) | more than 6 years ago | (#19855645)

And I for one welcome our many tentacled, bulging eyed, briny-breathed overlords from the deep!

Re:So many lately (5, Informative)

Choad Namath (907723) | more than 6 years ago | (#19856365)

From Wikipedia:

Many scientists who have studied squid mass strandings believe that they are cyclical and predictable, but the length of time between strandings is not yet known. A period of 90 years between mass strandings has been proposed by Frederick Aldrich, an Architeuthis specialist, who used this value to correctly predict a relatively small stranding that occurred between 1964 and 1966. By and large, however, squid strandings remain a yet unsolved problem.
It is strange, but it doesn't seem to be a new phenomenon.

Re:So many lately (1)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 6 years ago | (#19858217)

90 years ago... 1917. That concludes it. I now have all the proof I need of a Grand Tentacle conspiracy.

Just think of all those war movies and docos, why did they have all that barbed wire and defensive guns on the beaches? Why did the British navy suddenly collapse to these 'submarines'? All those narrow trenches, wide enough for men but too narrow for an 8-metre squid? Why did we need giant tanks to replace cavalry (hint - look at a giant squid next to a horse).

The great question remains, why was this covered up? Is it, in fact because Chthulu won that war, and all humanity is now just slaves in his vast tentacled reign of horror? You be the judge.

Re:So many lately (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#19857599)

Mmm huh, I think I get what you mean. Notice how this all kicked off when Marsha Stewart got out of prison in 2005 on the very same day that scientists at Florida State University concluded that Homo floresiensis is a separate species from Homo sapiens? See? See the connection? No, don't say it out loud; the Girl Scouts are monitoring my communications.

:-) and that's not the biggest one either (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19856105)

And thats not the biggest one either!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colossal_Squid [wikipedia.org]

The Colossal squid is the largest giant squid species.

Does any one remember the giant octopus that washed up I think some where in UK in the 1920's I think (not sure of the exact time but the photos where in black and white).

From the shots it probably was the largest ever cephalod ever seen by man and I remember seeing the photo of the mantle was bigger than a van even those if was probably heavily decayed.

After a quick search I found this

http://www.akpcep.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=4 485 [akpcep.com]

So that could of been the remains of one, the mantle being 12m wide.

If it was a colossal octopus then it would of been 25-30m with fully grown tentacles.

Was also found with the carcus of a whale near by it.

Wouldn't of been much in the ocean that it couldn't of eaten. :-) /signed Kiwiguy

One of the fastest growing creatures around (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19856121)

Squid have really short lifespans and they grow from tiny little hatchings into these giant creatures in just a few weeks. Pretty amazing eating machines.

Found a shot of the giant octopus (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19856185)

Finally found a shot of the octopus I mentioned

http://theshadowlands.net/octo1.jpg [theshadowlands.net]

Looking at that it would of been one hell of a big cephlapod, much bigger than a giant squid /signed kiwiguy

Re:Found a shot of the giant octopus (1)

Neeth (887729) | more than 6 years ago | (#19857411)

I believe this to be fake. The tentacles look painted. Maybe inspired by Captain Nemo spotting a giant squid?

This is a climate change thing. (1)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 6 years ago | (#19856247)

These creatures normally thrive unseen by humans at great depths. With the ocean currents and the resultng temperature levels changing, I imagine we'll continue seeing mixed up wildlife.


-FL

Re:This is a climate change thing. (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 6 years ago | (#19857445)

Normally? this could have been a fluke
if it happens repeatidly i may agree, but since it a rare occurance that has been happening for hundreds of years i doubt it is anything new from climate

let this be a warning... (1)

tompee (967105) | more than 6 years ago | (#19856455)

to google:
This is what happened to the last company CEO that got in the way of ACCC

Hentai, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19857135)

Luckily, it didn't wash ashore on the beaches of Japan.

thank you for the data (1)

superlaughtive (971688) | more than 6 years ago | (#19857421)

On the beach at -30.68 latitude 114.26 longitude, upon viewing the more than 8 meter (26 ft) long squid, a 4 year 85 day 522 minute old child looked up to see a colorful butterfly with almost a 13-cm (5-in) wingspan traveling at an average 2.32 cm/s (0.91 in/s) at an incline exceeding 23. At just after 11:20 AM, the child asked his nearly 30 year old mother how many sea creatures grew to almost 8 meters (26 ft) in length and 250 kg (550 lb) when stretched out on a beach with their drying carcass receiving as much as 1142 Watts per square meter of peak solar radiation with the sun just shy of 1/20 radians from normal, to which she replied, I'm sure there are more than 230 such species -- I've seen mammals measuring more than 25 meters (82 ft) in length and fish nearly 12 meters (39 ft) long -- which are washing up at at rate exceeding 34 creatures per day (more than 12000 per year).

Tentacles (1)

Rai (524476) | more than 6 years ago | (#19857437)

The tentacles had been badly damaged, so the overall length of the animal could not be determined...

So hentai girls can now breathe a little easier.

Cue the squid related handles karma whoring... (1)

Loligo (12021) | more than 6 years ago | (#19857845)

Despite the relative obscurity of mine, I'll start.

You're welcome.

  -l

/yes, it's vulgar rather than giant, so kiss my ass

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