Knowing my obsession with the giant squid, Jonathon sent me a link to a relatively fresh story from the BBC about an intact speciman of giant squid, Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni found in Antartica waters. This in itself is exciting because so little is known about this species of squid outside of what’s recovered from the stomach of its chieftest enemy – the sperm whale.
However, the floor dropping aspect of this story is that Dr. O’Shea, well known New Zealand marine biologist estimates from the size of this specimen – an immature female – that this species is larger the Architeuthis Dux, or Giant Squid. In fact, according to Dr. O’Shea, the species of specimen he’s currently studying, which he is now tentatively calling Colossal Squid, is an order of magnitude bigger. Considering that the Giant Squid has been estimated to obtain a length of 60 feet at best (18 meters) – well, if Colossal lives up Dr. O’Shea’s estimates this creature could reach lengths of 25 meters. Or more.
Having problems with lengths? Consider that if each story of a building takes about 10 feet – 25 meters is about 80 feet, which is about the same height of a 8 story building. But don’t stop there, this building has a tearing beak and razor sharp hooks, as well as a reputation for being one of the most tenacious and aggressive hunters in the Ocean. As the specialists keep saying – we are squid crunchies to this creature. Shishkabob and shishkajane and shishkashelley and…
Dr. O’Shea told reporters:
“This squid is a really nasty aggressive sort of squid . . . a gelatinous blob with seriously evil arms on it. If you fall in the water, you’re history.”
If Dr. O’Shea’s findings are independently verified, this is an incredible find. For someone interested in giant squid as I am, well, this would be equivalent in the music world of discovering Elvis, alive and well, and living in a trailer park outside of Eureka, Missouri.
More later as I find other stories. Also at:
New Zealand Herald
The Tonmo thread
Google News Search with several sources, most the same story
I actually used my Architeuthis Dux article as an example of a web resource for the PostCon RDF sample vocabulary in Practical RDF. Luckily, this news doesn’t impact on the RDF and technical accuracy in the book, it’s been delayed so much by the changing specification. As my editor once mentioned not long ago, so many things have impacted on finishing this book. What else?
I did have this evil twin moment when I thought of writing Simon an email:
You remember when you said, what else could happen to the book? Well…