kottke.org posts about squid

Unknown twisted blood-red squid

posted by Patrick Tanguay   May 03, 2018

Sometimes we must realize that what we know is that we don’t know that much. Earlier in April, the Okeanos Explorer crew, a research vessel run by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, saw a squid which they couldn’t identify. New species? New behaviour?

[A] blood-red squid with stubby arms, missing tentacles, and a knack for swimming like a nautilus. … “This one looks more like a vampire squid in color, but then it has this completely bizarre body pattern that just totally bowled me over. It almost looks like a nautilus in the way it’s swimming.” […]

Perhaps the unfamiliar submarine spooked the squid into scrunching up: Researchers say that it’s not unheard of for a squid to adopt a similar posture as a form of defense. However, this mystery squid stands out. “This one was real extreme,” says Vecchione. “A couple of the arms were folded right flat on the back, and a couple were folded underneath, and a couple were sticking out to the side.” […]

“On our planet, most of the living space is in the deep sea, and we know very, very little about what lives there,” says Vecchione. “Every time we go down there to look, we find something new.”

I wish I’d found this earlier because the ship has been broadcasting its adventures live but the feed ends today.

(Via The Kid Should See This.)

Strong swimmers

posted by Aaron Cohen   Jun 15, 2012

Here’s a weird story, and let’s not bury the lede: Cooked squid retain the ability to implant spermatophores in your mouth. We all know how eating raw squid runs this risk, but a recently published report (“Penetration of the oral mucosa by parasite-like sperm bags of squid: a case report in a Korean woman.”) details the first known case of spermatophores from cooked squid implanting. Read this post on Squid a Day for a much more nuanced explanation of what exactly a spermatophore is.

In order not to leave calamari connoisseurs unduly freaked out, I should clarify two points. First, most Western squid preparations remove the internal organs and serve only the muscle, so there’s no danger of accidentally ingesting spermatophores. Second, it’s perfectly fine to handle spermatophores—just don’t put them in your mouth. The skin on your hands, and most of the rest of your body, is much too thick to get stuck. I’ve probably had hundreds of spermatophores ejaculate on my fingers and never felt a sting.

This is Friday Squid Blogging material for sure.

Squids and octopi are not the same creature, and cephalopodian purists will disdain, but for the purpose of this post let’s agree that, especially to the layblogger, they share certain similar characteristics. Please allow an octopus link to follow a squid link. Here’s a little explainer about how octopus camouflage works. Be sure to watch the video. (via @neilhimself)

First photos of the giant squid ever

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 28, 2005

First photos of the giant squid ever captured. In capturing the photos, they ripped one of the squid’s tentacles off, which has made the squid a bit angry.