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Extra Aqua Vitae Nulla Salus


Avast Ye! At 9:15 am on September 30 2004, the Giant Squid as we be knowin' 'em changed forever.

A special rig was set up, comprisin' a camera, stroboscope light, timer, depth sensor, data logger and a depth-activated switch attached to two mesh bags filled with a temptin' bait o' freshly mashed shrimps, yarr.

Suspended from floats, the rig was lowered into the icy black depth of the sea on a nylon line, with flash pictures taken every 30 seconds for the next four to five hours.

At that moment, 900 yards down in the Stygian gloom, an eight-yard beast lunged at the lower bait bag, succeedin' only in a gettin' itself impaled on the hook.

For the next four hours, yarr, the mighty sea-beast be a tryin' a get itself off the hook as the camera snapped away every 30 seconds, gainin' not only unprece-dentured pictures but also precious information about how the squid be able to propel itself.

After a monstrous battle, the squid eventually freed itself, but left behind a giant gastly tentacle on the hook...

When the severed limb was brought up to the surface, its huge suckers were still able to grip the boat deck and any fingers that touched them -- testimony indeed to the myths of yore, that spoke of monstrous arms that grabbed ships and hauled them to their doom in Davy Jone's Locker.

The deep-sea pictures suggest that the squid be far from being the "sluggish, neutrally buoyant" creature that it has traditionally been deemed to be.

Quite the opposite, say the Japanese seamen Kubodera and Mori. It be an active predator that attacks its prey horizontally, and its two long sea-legs coil up into a ball after the strike, rather like it the pythons that be rapidly envelopin' their prey in their sinuous curves, says I.



At 11:18 AM, Blogger Ivan said...



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