Squids Are Cool
Squids are exquisite animals.
They’re not only beautiful, but they’re blessed with an extreme intelligence.
Forget the ridiculous fears of the very, very rare giant squid, and of those stupid movies portraying them as some sort of fearsome monster.
One of the most enigmatic actual sightings came from a woman who was out at sea one intoxicating moonlit night, when, while surveying the bright cosmos, laid out above the reflective and ever-restlessly gyrating dark seas below, she realized with that magical sense we all have that she was being watched by someone.
But whom? And where?
Her eyes traveled across the deck and saw no one around.
Then she scanned the sky above. No aircraft.
Then, the waves – still, no boat in sight.
And then she noticed who was watching her with a very obvious intelligence, interest, and curiosity – the wise and very large eyes of an enomous squid, as he hovered very near the surface of the water.
His eyes had taken on the scant luminosity of the ship lights, and in his eyes she understood the kindred spirit and the shared interest in each other as creatures from other worlds.
She stood, tranxfixed in a sort of bond with the giant from underwater, and they shared their mutual respect, honor as fellow beings on this transient planet in this transient life, for a long while, and then, as some noise from within the doors of the ship sounded, with one gesture, the beautiful eyes were gone, submerged into a safer and most mysterious realm again – to the underwater zones of the gorgeous and rare giant squids.
People, in their natural drive to sensationalize and to dramatize everything about the natural world that is a mystery to them – all primates do this – witness a troupe of monkeys when one chirps out an alarm call – this is us, basically, and just part of our ape make-up – so, either panic or fear-driven, or monetarily motivated, as in the profession of journalism ,(did you know that all journalism in America, anyway, now is “yellow journalism”? – the term coined for the crazy and untrue sensational writings William Randolph Hearst invented during the Spanish-American War to send his newspaper sales through the roof and which now fuels all of our newscasting?) – people in this mode have tried to make of the mysterious giant squids something to fear and to attempt to capture in their constant quest for safety, like those timid and scared little cousins of ours still in the tree tops.
And others, who, sadly, gather these wondrous animals, of the smaller varieties of squids, merely in order to eat, and now, even sadder, to experiment on and to use hideously, do a great dishonor not only to our own souls, which were meant to ally with and to honor all other beings, but also to the bodies of those who ingest them, since there is nothing healthy about eating anyone from the sea or the land.
We were born and created to be vegans. To eat vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds, including grains.
In discussing squids, we must remind you of the fabulous sights, sometimes seen on nature programs, of millions of these near-translucent and fascinating beings gathering together in certain seasons in certain places, like off of Cozumel in Eastern Mexico, off the Yucatan Peninsula, and, although some fisherman are sometimes wrestled down by mighty squids, when, after all, they’re invading the Merritory of these beautiful squids, they are quite benign and merely go about their own business in life.
They possess interesting powers and mentality, are marvels of creation, and we urge you to explore more about their lives in the links below.
Please remember to love squids in all their uniqueness, and urge your friends to avoid restaurants that serve these gentle beings.
And Veganize to save your lives, and theirs too!
Mystery squid helps prove ocean research
It took only a minute for scientists to discover a new deep-sea species with an experimental infrared camera built in Southern California and light-emitting artificial lure.
Now, the National Science Foundation has agreed to spend $500,000 (U.S.) to refine the concept developed by the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce.
A large, six-foot squid of a type never before photographed attacked the bait, a bioluminescent electronic "jellyfish," about 60 seconds after it was turned on in August off the Louisiana coast during Operation Deep Scope.
The Eye-in-the-Sea video system, which can sit on the ocean bottom for up to 24 hours, and the lure were used for the first time during the 10-day, $210,000 Deep Scope expedition into the Gulf of Mexico that set off from Panama City in the Florida Panhandle.
"This was phenomenal proof of concept," expedition co-leader Edith Widder said Monday. "In fact, it apparently has proven the concept because now I finally have funding from the National Science Foundation that is going to allow me to do this in a more advanced manner."
Widder, a senior scientist at Harbor Branch, said the two-year grant will be used to develop Eye-in-the-Sea so it can be connected to a mooring 3,000 feet deep in California's Monterey Bay.
The mooring would provide electrical power, eliminating the need for batteries, and allow the camera to send a continuous stream of video ashore for months at a time.
The original camera was built as a student project at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif., for $35,000 and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute paid for the batteries.
"I got some money from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration to put it in a bottle and to build a tripod for it," Widder said. "It's kind of been a stone soup, put together with little bits and pieces of money."
NOAA also funded the Deep Scope expedition. Another one is planned for this summer in the gulf to again photograph and perhaps capture the mystery squid and other rare or newly discovered species.
Scientists think Eye-in-the Sea may be a better tool for such missions than noisy and obtrusive mini-submarines or remote underwater vehicles that scare many creatures away. The camera also uses red light scientists believe is invisible to sea animals.
The identity of the mystery squid, bigger than calamari but smaller than the fabled giant squid, remains a puzzle.
Cephalopod biologist Michael Vecchione of the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., wrote in an e-mail to Widder that he was unable to identify it after viewing the seven-second video and consulting with other experts. It has body and tentacle characteristics different from any known squids, Widder said.
"The thing to appreciate is something this large to be totally unknown is phenomenal and just such an obvious indication of how little we understand about what's in our oceans," she said.
The electronic jellyfish is another new touch. It mimics light given off by natural bioluminescent jellyfish when they are being attacked, a characteristic scientists call a "burglar alarm" similar to fear screams in birds or monkeys.
"That scream occurs when an animal is caught in the clutches of a predator," Widder said. "Your only hope for escape may be to attract something bigger and nastier. It may come and attack what's attacking you."