Binary marble adding machine

Now that’s what I call engineering

So, I was reading the half-page infographic feature “Colossal Squid Revealed” in the latest print issue of Popular Science, and, disappointingly, it was just a recitation of information I’d long known: 10-foot-long tentacles with killer hooks, check; 10-inch eyes optimized for lightless depths, check; sworn enemy the sperm whale, check; likely to rise up and annihilate humanity pretty soon; check; we are totally screwed, check.

But then I hit upon a factoid of which I’d been previously unaware:

The squid has a doughnut-shaped brain; the esophagus passes straight through the center.

That’s just superb. The infographic is online here; click through the gallery to get to the esophagus stuff.

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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).

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Collision Detection: A Blog by Clive Thompson