Humbolt squid captured alive

I’m coming to this one late — several folks pointed this out to me last Sunday — but it’s worth noting for the record: A couple of salmon fishers offshore in British Columbia have caught the first Humboldt squid in Northern waters. This is all part of a migration of giant squid northwards, which is deeply freaking out the global-warming people, since these beasts aren’t supposed to thrive in colder climes. By the way, what’s so special about a Humboldt squid? Glad you asked! As the Globe and Mail reports:

Some descriptions from witnesses sound like the plot to a horror movie — water roiling with tentacles; otherworldly creatures suddenly launching into the air from beneath the surface; nightfall bringing to the surface vicious predators that slip back into the depths at daybreak, like vampires of the sea.

A Humboldt squid can grow to the size and weight of a hockey player. So, imagine Todd Bertuzzi with bulging eyes, eight arms, two tentacles, three hearts, a beak for a mouth, a brain wrapped around his esophagus and gullet with a willingness — nay, eagerness — to dine on his own kind every other meal, and you get a sense of how the squid has earned such a fearsome reputation.

There are few occasions upon which newspapers bring out prose more purple than when they attempt to describe killer squid.

(Thanks to Bret and Susan for this one!)

blog comments powered by Disqus

Search This Site


I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

More of Me


Recent Comments

Collision Detection: A Blog by Clive Thompson