Dec 22 2006

Talk about the war on Cephalopodmas*

Cephalopodmas comes but once a year, and today’s the big day!

To celebrate, some Japanese research dudes did what no research dudes have ever done before: they videotaped a live giant squid, that most elusive of jumbo invertebrates, in the wild.

And then they killed it.

Reuters photo of bloodied giant squid corpse
* PZ Myers on The War on Cephalopodmas

Still photos of a (mostly) undead giant squid taken last year.


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  1. “It helps to imagine what tales we’d be telling if, instead of delux
    model chimps, we were giant squids. A larva produced without a
    spermataphore! Herod the sperm whale. The miracle of ink from seawater! The miracle of multiplication of seaweed and
    fishes. The sermon on the coral reef. The luckless apostles told to
    cast their arms on one side of the boat, and they pull down so many
    sailors they can’t hold them all. The healing of the octopus without
    three tenticles. The last supper and the breaking of the crabs.
    Finally, crucified in a drift net, and left on the shore to die slowly (Eloi, eloi, lama xerosomia?– why am I being dried out like this?). Then the resurrection from a sushi bar, and the walking on water. How can you not believe? ”


    Seems like this might fit here. The things you find on the web!

  2. doggedknits.com

    Naturally, it was a female squid.

  3. blog.3bulls.net

    I just read about that- way to go, chumps! It sounds like they had a great plan for capturing it. And by “great” I mean “no.”

  4. I watched the video with the sound turned off, since I’m at work (or given my productivity today, “work”). At first I was very confused as to why the squid was wearing a tie.

    I jest, of course. A real shame that they killed it.

  5. Makes a woman want to kick the trousered squid hovering over the murdered, female creature right in the tentacles, don’t it?

  6. unsanesafe.blogspot.com

    This is all a result of having too much soy in their diets!

  7. Aren’t they brilliant!

    I wonder if they can catch each one they come across in the future and get fisherman to do the same. Then museums and odd millionaire collectors can forever fight over the opportunity to possess the last remaining mounted carcasses of the once revered monster of the deep, that alas, we know little of because they are all dead.

  8. In *The Lost World: Jurassic Park,* Nick Van Owen, the Earth First ecoterrorist, chastises the Great White Hunter Roland Tembo for trying to kill a Tyrannosaur. I paraphrase: “This is the first time this animal has ever been seen by humans and the only way you can show your appreciation is to kill it.”

    For years I thought the line was oversimplified, rah-rah, pseudoenvironmentalist pap in the grand tradition of Spielberg, and it probably is; but I have yet to hear a more eerily accurate description of humankind’s attitude toward animals, and that attitude, far more than the behavior it causes, creeps me right out.

  9. This is how the Japanese “research” whales and whaling, too. They go to the international whaling commission and get a quota for “research” – typically several hundred “specimens” a year. Then they “research” how many cans each whale can fill, and how much money these cans fetch at the market.

  10. Well of course Ms. Kate, same for women, we just research how long women stay in battering relationships, how much beating a woman can take, what its like for a woman prostitute, how much lower women’s wages are than men’s, how many times a woman is harrassed at work, what kind of man is more likely to rape her and then see how many pages of blank white paper all that will fill.

    Whoo–eee ain’t that fun!

  11. KTal, I get your point. But I must note that the Japanese would not doubt the existance of whales if their “research” stopped, while many would doubt the true scope and nature of violence against women absent even the most minimally descriptive (and under reported) information.

    This is why Bushco is trying to cut all funding for research into things they don’t want to hear (or suppress reporting of results) for such “controversial” subjects as violence against women, environmental health issues, global warming, etc. Without information to the contrary, they can claim that there are no problems or the problems have gone away.

  12. Happpy hollandaise to you all,
    May the light
    always find you
    on a dreary day.
    When you need to be home,
    may you find your way.
    May you always have courage
    to take a chance,
    And never find frogs in your

  13. “For years I thought the line was oversimplified, rah-rah, pseudoenvironmentalist pap in the grand tradition of Spielberg, and it probably is”

    Actually it probably comes straight from the book by Crichton. See his other great progressive hating books like State of Fear, about how the environmentalist are making up global warming so they can get research grants and Disclosure, in which he tackles the ever present problem of women bosses harassing their male underlings.

    Thank god he’s here to stand up for the underdogs.

  14. buttercupia.blogspot.com

    AoT, dammit I despise that man.

    TheBewilderness, that was lurvely. Thank you. Sappy Hollandaise to you, as well.

    Like the extinction of the chinese river dolphin, the death of this poor creature makes me extremely sad. It’s only a matter of time for the giant squid, too.

    About the crichton line from Jurrasic Park, even a blind pig finds an acorn once in a while, even a stopped clock is right twice a day, etc. He just thinks, well, that’s what a nutjob ecoterrorist would say. He doesn’t see it as a valid statement, he sees it as extremist. There are none so blind etc.

  15. thehomesickhome.blogspot.com

    My Japanese husband looked at the photo of his countrymen`s vanquished invertebrate, and with a wistful expression on his face, murmured, “Saaa…oishii-soo…”

    Which roughly means, “Looks delicious.”

    Pass the soy sauce.

  16. MsKate, I expected your correction as I was probably not clear. Fact is that research still seems to not end the impulse to ‘kill it’ and with women that usually means to kill the source of the research — defund, deny or ignore.

  17. politblogo.typepad.com

    Is there any way to investigate the internal structure of a newly discovered species of squid while leaving the specimen alive?

  18. Well, he co-wrote the screenplay with David Koepp, so he gets credit either way. You’ll be happy to know, if you haven’t seen the movie, that Nick Van Owen the ecoterrorist is, at least in the film version, unequivocally one of the Good Guys; and Roland Tembo the Great White Hunter finally sees the Error of His Ways when one of the Tyrannosaurs steps on his boyfriend. (No, really.) Chrichton’s bizarre and uninformed views on environment and sex-based power dynamics were entirely lost in the frothy, morally simplistic delights of summer sequel-ness.

  19. “Crichton,” dammit. Sorry.

  20. Crichton’s “bizarre and uninformed views” are exactly why Roveheil invited him for a chat with bushboy in our Oval Office.

  21. Mandos, does that squid look like it has been handled as a specimen for dissection and investigation? Looks more like a hunting trophy to me.

  22. Despite all the stupid headlines about how the existence of the “mythical” giant squid (Architeuthis) has now been confirmed, no one ever thought it was a myth. At least, not recently. Remains of them have been found washed up on beaches, and in the stomachs of Physeter (that’s sperm whales). Indeed, it has long been known that giant squid are a major prey item for sperm whales. There’ve been ample opportunities to dissect the buggers when they’ve been found dead, but no real opportunities to observe them alive. That’s why it’s death was a damned shame.

  23. Most definitely Sylvanite. I do have to say I’m a bit underwhelmed by the size of these “giant” squids. I’m waiting for the mother squid to reach over the edge of the boat with a nice long tentacle and grab her baby and the killer.

    I can dream, can’t I?

  24. Merry Squidmas to all, and to all a good bite!

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