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Science

Giant Squid Caught Near Japan 110

Posted by Zonk
from the she's-a-biggun dept.
Frankenbuffer writes "Researchers on a quest to find a live giant squid succeeded in filming one south of Tokyo. They used a smaller bait squid to lure the giant squid to the water's surface. The giant squid, a young female about 7 metres long, put up quite a fight as it was brought aboard the research vessel. It died in the process. The researchers believe that giant squid may be more plentiful that believed previously. From the article: '"Sperm whales need from 500 to 1,000 kilograms of food every day," he said. "There are believed to be 200,000 or so of them, and that would suggest there are quite a few squid for them to be feeding on. I don't think they are in danger of extinction at all." Having filmed the squid, Mr. Kubodera said his next goal is to further study the creatures' habits in their natural surroundings -- at a depth of around 650 metres.'"
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Giant Squid Caught Near Japan

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  • Well... (Score:4, Funny)

    by garion888 (1042184) on Friday December 22, 2006 @11:34AM (#17337274)
    "The giant squid, a young female about 7 metres long, put up quite a fight as it was brought aboard the research vessel" You'd put up quite a fight if you knew you'd be performing in live action tentacle-porn too...
    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Funny)

      by R2.0 (532027) on Friday December 22, 2006 @11:47AM (#17337486)
      "The giant squid, a young female about 7 metres long, put up quite a fight as it was brought aboard the research vessel" You'd put up quite a fight if you knew you'd be performing in live action tentacle-porn too..."

      Correction: Live action LESBIAN tentacle porn.

      Makes all the difference.
      • by kimgkimg (957949)
        "N... T... NT... Tentacles... Big difference!"
      • Maybe I just haven't seen enough tentacle porn, but it occurred to me to wonder, and I'm sure the collective intelligence of Slashdot can answer this: are the tentacle monsters always male? Where are the female tentacle monsters? Given the... uhhh... wide variety of interests already represented, there must be people who'd like to see them.

        Maybe the female tentacle monster goes around attacking men more-or-less the same way the male ones do with women? Or maybe to have an "all (including the monster) lesbia
        • by justchris (802302)
          No, tentacle monsters are not always male, but yes, they are predominately male. Some of the female ones do go around attacking men, but most of them still attack women, some even attack women and men at the same time.

          Hemaphroditic tentacle monsters are actually pretty common, too, but I have to say I've never seen, or heard about, a boy tentacle monster and girl tentacle monster getting together. Poor, poor unrequited tentacle love :(
    • by creimer (824291)
      And become sushi afterward. You can't enjoy tentacle porn without sushi.
    • They gone and fucked up now, boy. Wait until the giant squids hear that we tried to lure one of their children into a life of tentacle porn vice. The shit will hit the fan.
  • by GuyverDH (232921) on Friday December 22, 2006 @11:38AM (#17337346)
    The problem with trying to watch at around 610 meters, is that the pictures were taken at over 1000 meters, if I recall the show correctly, it may have been closer to 1300 or 1500 meters.

    The squid put up a fight because one of it's tentacles was caught on one of the hooks that the bait was attached to. It eventually detached or snapped off the tentacle to escape, leaving the Dr. with one very long piece of evidence attached to the hook.

    It was a very interesting show. It also showed another researcher working on the other end of the spectrum, capturing live baby giant squid, attempting to get them to live in captivity.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Rob T Firefly (844560)
      Reminds me of that time this documentarian wanted to film me. I wan't all that into it, so the bastard tore my arm off. Journalists, eh?
    • by brunascle (994197)
      excellent show.

      they dropped bait attached to a rope, and also on the rope was a camera pointed at the bait taking pictures at regular intervals.

      the photos weren't great quality, but it was pretty obvious that it was a giant squid.
    • by VickiM (920888)
      I think you're refering to the wrong giant squid.

      That one got away. This one was captured, but died in the process. The image in the link seems to show them trying to pull it up at the surface of the water, not at 1000 meters.
      • by woohoodonuts (734070) on Friday December 22, 2006 @12:22PM (#17338010)
        On top of that, the claim about the squid in this particular article is incorrect. The giant squid is not the largest invertebrate. The Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, or colossal squid, is. Also, the claims of 18 meters, 60 feet, are exaggerated due to stretching after death. The colossal squids are generally accepted to be around 45 to 50 feet in length.
        • Its people like you that force me to use my measurement widget. The parent was talking meters and you come out with this feet shit!
    • The show you watched is at least a few months old. If you read the article, this incident occurred on Dec 4, 2006, just over 2 weeks ago. And the picture shows the squid actually coming to the surface of the water. It's not some really dark, black and white image of the squid like the one in the show you saw, but a clear-as-day, color snapshot of the thing.
  • That's a lot of ika nigiri!
  • by splutty (43475) on Friday December 22, 2006 @11:45AM (#17337444)
    Giant squid sold to Japanese Sushi bar for record amount.

    Reuters (JP): The giant squid captured yesterday for study, has been sold to an up-scale Japanese Sushi Bar for a record amount of $170,000, thus providing a needed extra bit of money for the research team, according to spokesman Tsunemi Kubodera. The Sushi Bar is currently booked full for the next week.
  • extinction (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I don't think they are in danger of extinction at all

    I'd feel better if that were determined to be a fact BEFORE you started accidentally killing them.
    • Re:extinction (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jd (1658) <imipak@yahoo.cEINSTEINom minus physicist> on Friday December 22, 2006 @12:03PM (#17337742) Homepage Journal
      I'm not convinced it was terribly accidental - attempts in New Zealand to catch baby giant squid failed because they were too fragile to be caught, and the previous attempt to film a giant squid resulted in a tentacle being ripped off. The Japanese aren't stupid and aren't ignorant, ergo they knew damn well that the approach they were using was likely to cause grievous and possibly fatal injuries.


      I am much more bothered by this attitude of "oh well, doesn't matter how many we kill", though, than with the incident itself. It is wholly unacceptable that ANY scientist would hold the attitude that brainlessness is acceptable, that extreme interference with what you are studying could even produce useful results even if it were acceptable (sorry, but that has not been accepted in any branch of science for nigh on 100 years), or that the level of endangerment can be measured by how many you destroy (sheer ignorance and a pathetic excuse for an intellect).


      This is not the only area in which species otherwise classed as threatened or endangered have been labelled as free to plunder, and Japan is far from the only nation guilty of such abominable practices. Scientists with any kind of respect for their profession or for the world in which they live should make it clear that such attitudes are not professionally accepted and that researchers who would freely destroy the subjects of their research have no place in the modern scientific community.

      • by GuyverDH (232921)
        Hmmm - and how are you going to stop the sperm whales from eating them day in and day out.
        I'm sure they eat more in a day, than we've caught or killed in all of human history so far.
        • I'll take explosive tipped whaling harpoons for 1000 Alex

          Hmmm - and how are you going to stop the sperm whales from eating them day in and day out. I'm sure they eat more in a day, than we've caught or killed in all of human history so far.
          • by GuyverDH (232921)
            Uhm - yeah - now try for a legal method. ie - most countries have either outright outlawed whaling, or have heavily limited it.

            Make sure to avoid Greenpeace while you're out there.
      • I am much more bothered by this attitude of "oh well, doesn't matter how many we kill", though, than with the incident itself.

        I don't know what else you expect from the people who kill a lot of whales each year, take a quick look at stomach contents, and call the process scientific research.

      • that extreme interference with what you are studying could even produce useful results

        then why dissect frogs? I'd say that qualifies as extreme interference with what you are studying...

        • by jd (1658)
          Dissecting frogs that were alive has produced nothing of significant value in science. Most of the research that has produced valuable results (the discovery that electricity can stimulate muscles, for example, and the anatomy of frogs) has not required the killing of animals to achieve.

          In the case of giant squids, we already know the anatomy and physiology, from previous finds. We don't need mere case studies that reveal nothing new, we need new data on the stuff we CAN'T find out from the remains of giant

          • by ccp (127147)
            Killing them tells you... that they're not monsters

            Killing them tells you... that they're not the monsters. On the other hand, the "scientists"...

            Cheers,
            CC
      • Not to mention that the idea of bringing a live giant squid that could at least take off your arm aboard your boat, seems like a darwin award in the making.
        • by jd (1658)
          They have a great deal of muscle power, but zero tensile strength. If they tried to pull a human arm off, I suspect you'd end up with them rendered mostly 'armless.

          Actually, a much better trap for a giant squid would be to have a cylinder with closeable doors at each end and bait in the middle. When the squid enters, close the doors. The squid can't injure itself in such an enclosure, is kept at uniform pressure, is kept in water, and can readily be transferred to an enclosure such as an aquarium. Such devi

          • I was thinking more along the lnes of that ruddy great beak biting you in half, not the tentacles pulling you to bits.
            • by jd (1658)
              Yes, I can see that someone wishing to test out their dentistry skills on a Giant Squid would likely discover some severe disadvantages in being trapped inside a gigantic clamplike device.
    • by otacon (445694)
      or was that 'determined' BECAUSE they accidentily killed one.
    • by Ender Ryan (79406)
      It's a very difficult animal to study. Do you want to take a shot at it? No? Do you even have any suggestions for them? No? Then STFU.

      • Here's a suggestion: Don't try catching what may be an endangered animal until you can be sure you won't kill them in the process. Jackass.
        • Oh, now we have to protect "may be endangered" animals too. Besides, I seriously doubt any sort of human habits are affecting a creature that lives at those depths. If it's almost extinct, it's because of natural selection.
          • I never said we need to protect it, just that we shouldn't go around killing it in an attempt to study it if we have no real clue about the numbers.
      • by oni (41625)
        I have to agree. Come on. If every Sperm Whale out there is eating a hundred of these things every day, then it has to be OK for us to kill one or two so that we can learn about them. It would be better if we could study without harm - but right now that's not possible.

        It seems really shortsighted to me to say, "OMFG EWE KILLD TEH PRETTY ANEMAL" as if that is the only issue on the table.
        • by eyeye (653962)
          if... from the article that just seems like pure conjecture. These people have basically killed some rare creature and are now acting like proud hunters "yeah it died but it was THIS BIG!!!".

          The Japanese are also well known for killing whales "for research" and then eating them. It wouldn't surprise me if Japan's markets are suddenly awash with squid meat.
          • by profplump (309017)

            These people have basically killed some rare creature
            That's pure conjecture too. There's no evidence about the population size one way or the other.
          • It's not rare.

            Just cause Man can't catch giant squid doesn't mean that we can't study it, or that other mammals aren't studying it.

            Colossal and Giant squid form a majority of the diet of adult sperm whales, which have a population of around 200,000. Ergo, there must be quite a few giant/colossal squid out there, and given that we're talking about 1-2 caught per _year_ for research, it's not a big deal. Perhaps we'll learn something from these carcassas that will actually enable us to grow them in captivity
            • Well said. Exactly the point I was going to make.

              Several posters seem to think that because we haven't directly studied giant squids very much that we don't have even a remote clue how many there are. However, it is quite obvious from the fact that sperm and other species of whales eat these animals in abundance that they're numbers are not insignificant.

              Sacrificing a specimen for research may be long term beneficial for the health of the species. As the parent noted, we may learn something from this
            • Many other animals also feed on this squid, including the beaked whales ... and albatross

              Soldier #1: What? An albatross carrying a colossal squid?
              Arthur: It could grip it by the hood!
              Soldier #1: It's not a question of where he grips it! It's a simple question of weight ratios! A twenty five kilo bird could not carry a half-tonne squid.
              Arthur: Well, it doesn't matter. Will you go and tell your master that Arthur from the Court of Camelot is here?

      • by bskin (35954)
        It's a very difficult animal to study. Do you want to take a shot at it? No? Do you even have any suggestions for them? No? Then STFU.

        I could see this as coming across as a little trite, but...

        Is there really any intrinsic need to study them? I'm guessing what an in depth study would mostly discover is "they're like just about any other squid, only a lot fucking bigger."
    • Re:extinction (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Toby The Economist (811138) on Friday December 22, 2006 @12:49PM (#17338368)
      Not accidental.

      Their blood is swimming with what is basically anti-freeze.

      At the sort of temperatures found in their native depths, their blood works fine.

      Pull them up to anywhere near the surface and their blood cannot transport oxygen - they suffocate.

      Personally, I'm horrified. These people have spent a *bundle* of our money (tax revenue) and killed a living creature - and for what?
      • by NDPTAL85 (260093)
        To learn about it. Sometimes you gotta kill something to learn about it. Its all for the greater good in the end. If they are endangered the information learned from their bodies will help us save them when the time comes.

        One individual is not the entire species.
        • I don't buy it - my crap detector is going off!

          First off, this squid lives under 1.5km of water - 150 atmospheres of pressure. Once you've brought it up to the surface and let it die, it's going to be in a VERY different state to how it is normally. It'd be like slowly taking a human from the surface up to 71km altitude (1/150 atmopshere), during which process they die, then taking them to your home planet in your spaceship, and *THEN* examining them.

          What exactly *are* you going to learn in that circumsta
        • by ccp (127147)
          If they are endangered the information learned from their bodies will help us save them when the time comes.

          Great one! Are you going to be here all week?

          Cheers,
          CC
    • by Twixter (662877)
      Hey, they didn't try to accidentally kill it. I mean, it put up a fight. I'm sure they expected it to come along peacefully.
  • by jfengel (409917) on Friday December 22, 2006 @11:45AM (#17337454) Homepage Journal
    They used a smaller bait squid to lure the giant squid to the water's surface.

    Does that mean that we can use this squid to get an even BIGGER squid?
    • by Sciros (986030)
      Dude yes. It's all part of a plan to capture and study a giant space squid that's so big there's fusion reactions going on in its 'nads. It will be used to power Japan's big Evangelion biomechs.
      Well it makes sense to me!
    • ...swallowed the squid to catch the squid, she swallowed the squid to catch the squid, she swallowed the sperm whale *snigger* to catch the squid...

      She was japanese.

      • by joto (134244)

        ..swallowed the squid to catch the squid, she swallowed the squid to catch the squid, she swallowed the sperm whale *snigger* to catch the squid...
        She was japanese.

        Easy now!

      • by Tackhead (54550)
        > ...swallowed the squid to catch the squid, she swallowed the squid to catch the squid, she swallowed the sperm whale *snigger* to catch the squid...
        >She was japanese.

        ...by proxy.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Well, you can use the giant squid to catch a sperm whale, and then you could use the dead sperm whale to catch a new reality tv show.
    • by hcdejong (561314)
      Duh, there's always a bigger squid.
  • Where's the video?
  • as soon as I saw this on foxnews.com, I ran straight to /. for inside information. Nothing but standard cliches? Somebody out there's got to have that video.
    • by n9hmg (548792)
      D'OH! I guess everybody else jumped in about the same time I did. Thanks for the links.
    • Fox News? (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by mr_luc (413048) *
      First, no offense, but you saw this on foxnews.com? Was this one of those "best to know what tunes the Devil is playing" things? Or do you have some other acceptable explanation, like ... being retarded?

      Second, if you see a story on Fox News, that might be a tip-off that it's the kind of soft news Slashdot may not bring its A-game for.
  • by lorg (578246)
    ... will not be pleased by these actions.
  • Giant squids have been found on other planets before [sadgeezer.com], nothing new. I wonder if the crew of the japanese boat committed suicide though...
  • End result? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by psylew (733959)
    So they found one alive and... killed it. That's helpful. I'm sure they can learn fascinating things by studying one that was recently alive, but there's got to be a better way.
    • Re:End result? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by aapold (753705) on Friday December 22, 2006 @12:15PM (#17337902) Homepage Journal
      That was pretty much my response too... they killed it. Can those things even take being under the far less pressure near the surface water? Once they had it hooked, you think they could have sent a diver down at some intermediary depth to film it...

      I guess this is new territory and they're learning things (like, if you pull a giant squid to the surface, it dies), so I guess I can give them a pass this time. But yeah, there has to be a better way.

      Those eyes are just unnerving, think I read somewhere that they have the largest eyes of any known creature... no idea on how large their brains are, but you'd have to think it is uncharted territory in terms of invertebrates. I'm not with PETA or anything, but I have to wonder what it was thinking as it was hauled up to its death, fighting the entire way...
      • by salec (791463)
        Can those things even take being under the far less pressure near the surface water?
        It seems like most important question indeed. Describing baby giant squids as "fragile" seems to imply that it may be the problem. It was the problem with some very deep sea creatures: when they surfaced them, they fell apart. At the very least, those squids may be more prone to ... well, ... "catastrophic failure" up here.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)
        Once they had it hooked, you think they could have sent a diver down at some intermediary depth to film it...

        You first. Have a nice swim with the giant squid. Let me know how that turns out if you come back.

        • "You first. Have a nice swim with the giant squid. Let me know how that turns out if you come back."

          Yeah, because it's not like we have protective devices that have been used to study other dangerous aquatic animals. That's why we have no footage of sharks in the wild right?

          • Dude, these things eat WHALES. Do you really think we've got any protective gear that would stand up to that???
            • Unless whales are made out of metal then yes. I'm talking about anti-shark cages (probably reinforced) here, not some fruity chainmail suit.
              • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

                by cavefrog (1015175)
                I'm talking about anti-shark cages (probably reinforced) here, not some fruity chainmail suit.

                Reminds me of those tests where a marine biologist puts a live crab in a jar then lets an octopus have a go at it. It takes only seconds for the octopus to open it and retrieve it's lunch.

                I know a steel cage is an entirely different story, but I'm having fun imagining what a giant squid might be able to do to one of these, and better yet what the diver might be thinking when it tries...

              • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

                by Anonymous Coward
                Let me get this straight.

                Cage goes in the water. Diver goes in the cage.

                Squid's in the water. OUR squid.

                Fare thee well, fare thee well, Spanish ladies!

                Fine, fine ladies of Spain!

                For, on the morrow, I sail back to boston,

                and so, nevermore, shall I see you - again!

              • by Bertie (87778)
                Well, I remember seeing a documentary on Discovery years ago, where they were looking for giant squid. At one point, there was a guy in a shark cage tormenting a "middle-sized" squid (like, the size of a man or thereabouts. The squid was flashing red and white, letting him know it was a bit pissed off with him winding it up. Now, remember this is a shark cage, and as well as the vertical bars, there's a horizontal gap across its whole width, probably about eight inches high, that you would put a pole thr
      • by ReTay (164994)
        "Once they had it hooked, you think they could have sent a diver down at some intermediary depth to film it..."

        Hey right behind you wild man.

        "Those eyes are just unnerving, think I read somewhere that they have the largest eyes of any known creature..."

        You almost answered your own question.
        Gee lets hook something and really piss it off and they send someone down to play with it.

    • by kneemoe (1042818)
      my only question is, who on the team was killed first?

      (anyone else see the parallel to 'the life aquatic')
  • by CXI (46706) on Friday December 22, 2006 @11:55AM (#17337614) Homepage
    You can see the video linked on CNN's article (after an ad of course):

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/science/12/22/giant.s quid.ap/index.html [cnn.com]
  • idiots (Score:5, Funny)

    by Lehk228 (705449) on Friday December 22, 2006 @12:03PM (#17337732) Journal
    are they TRYING to awaken Cthulhu?
  • This is obviously a scout sent by the creature.

    Awaken Godzilla and pals, we must defend Tokyo from the giant squid monster!
  • It's ludicrous to say these animals are endangered in any fashion. Wikipedia's page has reference-cited information that the giant squid's bigger cousin, the Colossal Squid [wikipedia.org] could possibly make up as much as 77% of the biomass consumed by Sperm Whales [wikipedia.org], whose numbers are listed as ranging from at minimum 200,000 to a maximum 2,000,000 individuals [wikipedia.org]. The Colossal Squid is seen even less by science, and the beaks of them are found nearly as often in the stomachs of Sperm Whales.

    Giant Squid are in no shape, way
    • by Hubec (28321)
      Absolutely, thank you. Anyone who is wringing there hands about the loss of this single squid must consider how little we know about the species. In fact we know so little right now that we could inadvertently alter their environment in a way that would result in the death of millions and never realize it. We must learn as much as we can about these animals that increasingly appear to comprise a significant role in the oceans' ecosystem. This is actually a relatively important area of scientific study.
  • I, for one, welcome our new giant tentacled overlords!!

    But I think we will be very busy shaking hands for a while...
  • Farnsworth: Sweet Zombie Jesus! It's huge!
    Amy: It's coming up!
    Hermes: Oh, that's big!
    Farnsworth: A colossal-mouth bass!
  • The giant squid, a young female about 7 metres long, put up quite a fight as it was brought aboard the research vessel.


    I swear, Bob... the squid gets bigger every time you tell that story...
  • Hey we found something! Awesome! Lets bring it on board and kill it! We haven't seen any more but it'll be okay if we say we think there are a lot more.
  • Cryptozoology, n.: The study of animals that don't exist.
  • Did anyone else notice the very quick changes from white to red of the colour of the squid?

    Humboldt squid ('diablo rojo') are red when annoyed, and have a fearsome reputation since people wanting to dive with them generally dive from ships in the Bay of California squid-fishing fleet, under which circumstances the squid are understandably usually annoyed ... apparently they're a good deal more placid when not impaled on pointed hooks (who'd have thought it).

    http://www.montereycountyweekly.com/issues/Issue.0 [montereycountyweekly.com]
  • By the Nine Tongues, Mahlegeth Slumbers. By the Nine Tongues, Mahlegeth Stirs. By the Nine Tongues, Mahlegeth Rises. By the Nine Tongues, HE will devouer us all.

Brain fried -- Core dumped

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