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Giant Squid Washed Ashore in Australia 149

Posted by Zonk
from the don't-try-to-make-calamari dept.
twofish writes "Yahoo News is reporting that the carcass of a giant squid, nearly 8 meters in length, washed ashore in Australia on Wednesday. The creature's mantle is over two meters in length and almost a full meter across. The creature, stretched out, is in total more than eight meters long. 'Scientists would take samples from the creature, identified by state parks officials as an Architeuthis, which can grow to more than 10 meters (33 feet) in length and weigh more than 275 kilograms (606 pounds). The Tasmanian animal was 250 kg ... Giant squid, once believed to be mythical despite occasional sightings by mariners, feed on fish and other squid. Last year, fishermen off the Falkland Islands caught a complete animal measuring 8.62 meters.'"
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Giant Squid Washed Ashore in Australia

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  • Stick (Score:5, Funny)

    by Eudial (590661) on Friday July 13, 2007 @07:43PM (#19854677)
    Poke it with a stick! Poke it with a stick! I dare you to poke it with a stick!
    • by crovira (10242) on Friday July 13, 2007 @11:14PM (#19856095) Homepage
      Besides that, two foot wide calimari rings probably end up tasting like erasers.
      • by StikyPad (445176)
        Scientists believe giant squid usually live at ocean depths of between 200-700 meters (660-2,300 ft), relying in part on volleyball-sized eyes, the largest in the animal kingdom.

        Finally, an appropriate use for the phrase "Those things are the size of volleyballs!"
      • by will_die (586523)
        Not erasers ammonia.
        Any of the large squid are filled with ammonia, scientist thinks it is there to help them float.
    • We are explring the universe, while we don't see much then few inches from our nose. Who knows what lies when we open our eyes a bit wider
    • Thats ok. the squids from Tasmania...

      Two headed from imbreeding down that neck of the woods.. a giant squid is nothing new.

      Darren
      South Australia
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 13, 2007 @07:44PM (#19854693)
    Of course, I have a lot of cache.
  • Fast food (Score:1, Funny)

    by scum-e-bag (211846)
    Giant calamari rings anyone?
    • I'll bring a giant lemon wedge and a giant bowl of dipping sauce!

      Giant margaritas all 'round!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Tackhead (54550)
      > Giant calamari rings anyone?

      "It's a TRAP!"

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Last I read, once they get that big they have a high concentration of Ammonia. You'd need a helluva lot of margheritas to wash THAT taste down.
      • by American Scum (1126015) on Friday July 13, 2007 @08:32PM (#19855149)
        http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/OCEAN_PLANET/HTML/squ id_highlights.html [nasa.gov] "When a giant squid washes ashore, Roper hurries to the site. He takes many photographs and measures the length and width of the squid's body the length of the tentacles and arms, and the width of the eyes. He will add the information to his collection of clues. One clue was discovered at a party when Roper and two other scientists cooked a piece of giant squid. They expected a giant delicacy But it was awful. The taste reminded them of ammonia, a strong-smelling substance. They tested the tissue and found a lot of ammonia. They think that ammonia makes the giant squid less dense than seawater, so it won't sink. It can easily stay at a good level for finding food without constantly swimming and wasting its energy "
        • Finally I have the excuse I need to pee in my wetsuit! Thank god for science!
        • But it was awful. The taste reminded them of ammonia, a strong-smelling substance. They tested the tissue and found a lot of ammonia.
          That never stopped the icelanders from eating Rotten Shark [wikipedia.org].
        • by kbahey (102895)
          Actually, many bottom dwelling fish have ammonia in them.

          This includes the stingrays, which are known for their bad taste, unless soaked in vinegar to neutralize the ammonia.

          Ammonia does not make them float. What I heard is that it helps coping with the pressure at great depths or something like that.
    • by xs650 (741277)
      That would be OK if you wanted calamari rings the size of tractor tires....with the chewability of tractor tire.
      • by compro01 (777531)
        That would be OK if you wanted calamari rings the size of tractor tires....with the chewability of tractor tire.

        and if you like it in Windex flavor. those things contain a lot of ammonia.
      • by phedre (1125345)
        Not a problem! All we have to do is cut it into smaller pieces, throw in the lemon juice and the dipping sauce, and toss into the Blendtec blender! I'm sure it will blend, and thus we can have lemon calamari ammonia smoothies... mmmmmm good.
      • by timeOday (582209)
        Tell me the appeal of calamari? I like sushi, I like crab legs, I like shrimp because they all taste good. Calamari only tastes like whatever you fry or dip it in.
        • by jafiwam (310805)
          You haven't had good calamari then.

          You are right, most is pretty bad. But if you get it at a real seafood place or a fish market (cook yourself) it is very nice.
          • If it's that hard to get it "right", then it doesn't seem to be very worthwhile, does it?

            The definition of a "real" seafood place is pretty nebulous as it is, I've been to a few nice places, chain and non-chain, and quite frankly, I don't care to ever try another one again. Maybe calamari lovers would be better off just admitting that maybe a lot of people are just never going to like it, even if it's done right, it's a heck of a lot easier on everyone.

            This probably applies to anything that's subjective, d
          • Re:Fast food (Score:4, Interesting)

            by niktemadur (793971) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @07:37AM (#19858419)
            I used to dislike calamari, but then a chef friend prepared some in his special recipe (ginger, orange, garlic, chili powder, beet, and a few other secret ingredients), and then I realized I'd never had proper calamari before, as this was sensational. I used to dislike beet, too, but in this dish I really enjoyed it, so this guy demolished two barriers of mine in one spectacular stroke. Since then, I've had blind faith in whatever he cooks up.

            Then a year later, I tried some fried calamari, spanish style, and once again I was amazed.

            Octopus grilled in butter and garlic, with fresh mexican sauce and flour tortillas is really damn good, too.

            And yes, you're right about it having to be fresh, as if isn't, it's like chewing on a piece of bleached rubber.
            So definitely, rule number one: never buy frozen squid or octopus.
        • by drsquare (530038)
          You don't eat it by itself you fry it in batter and dip it in sauce. Very few foods are meant to be eaten alone.
    • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

      by semiotec (948062)
      while the calamari jokes are inevitable, I thought I'd point out anyway that apparently giant squids don't taste all that nice due to the high amount of ammonia they have to help buoyancy, and the only creatures that find them tasty (as well as being big enough to eat them) are sperm whales.

      There's several more reports and better pictures than the one posted in the summary.

  • it's like an alien environment on our own planet. sure am glad these things are 500m down.
    • by suv4x4 (956391)
      it's like an alien environment on our own planet. sure am glad these things are 500m down.

      Wow, talk about antropocentric logic loops.
    • by wikinerd (809585)

      it's like an alien environment on our own planet. sure am glad these things are 500m down.

      Not as alien as you think. We all evolved from down there, you know. It looks alien because we separated a long time ago. Kinda like UK and US, with many customs and cultural elements being different only because they took different paths some time ago, but they both have the same roots. So, if you learn to look more closely, you'll see that there are many similarities and analogies between land and sea (or UK and US), and you probably can recognise them better if you know some natural history or pale

      • by timmarhy (659436)
        yes and we all formed from basic elements released in the big bang, it doesn't mean other planets aren't alien to me.

        the differences between me and a squid are far greater then the USA vs UK

    • by shawn443 (882648)
      Don't be a Sally. I wish I was an underwater Indiana Jones. There must be a sunken civilization or two and some giant squid to fight.
    • I remember only a few years ago, no one had even seen one of these monsters, and now they are washing up on a monthly basis. Is it possible that something has changed in their environment, so as to make them leave it, or kill them?
      • "no one had even seen one of these monsters"

        No one had seen a live one, dead ones wash up on the shore quite reqularly in Tassie and NZ although I belive this was the first one found on Tasmania's west coast.
      • by Deadstick (535032)
        If nobody had ever seen one a few years ago, how did they get mentioned in Moby Dick?.

        rj

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        This is largely a wild guess, but my theory would be that this is happening as a result of environmental change. I don't think we know for sure.

        What we do know is that ice on both polar caps is melting at a tremendously accelerated rate at the moment. All arctic and antarctic ice is fresh water - made from fallen snow. So when this melts into the ocean two things happen. Firstly, the salinity of the sea is reduced - it becomes less salty. Secondly the density of the sea is reduced, since salt water is more
    • I just got back from a SCUBA dive this morning at our local reef (Port Noarlunga, South Australia). I got into diving because the underwater world IS so alien. It's 72% of our planet surface normally unseen first hand by most people.

      The flora and fauna have adapted to this environment and you get to watch them on their terms, not in an aquarium/zoo. Because we humans are considered aliens in this environment, many of the animals haven't learnt to fear us. Some underwater animals seem to show a large degr
    • by petrus4 (213815)
      Giant squid need love too. ;)
  • by Pap22 (1054324) on Friday July 13, 2007 @07:52PM (#19854779)
    It's only written on the page 3 times. Give credit where it is due.
  • My squid (Score:4, Funny)

    by Penguinshit (591885) on Friday July 13, 2007 @07:57PM (#19854827) Homepage Journal
    is 3128 cm long.
  • Squid squid squid squid squid squid squid squid. Irresponsible motorcycle riding cephalopods fish other Irresponsible motorcycle riding cephalopods who are also fishing.
  • by tttonyyy (726776) on Friday July 13, 2007 @08:07PM (#19854933) Homepage Journal
    A proxy with a memory leak has segfaulted at Australia's ioctl interface.

    Debuggers are taking core samples for analysis.
    • by Gazzonyx (982402)

      A proxy with a memory leak has segfaulted at Australia's ioctl interface.

      Debuggers are taking core samples for analysis.

      This kind of crap always happens when Australia's pipes are involved! The debuggers can do what they will in their own sweet time, man, just tell me it was HA and we failed over to a mirror and redirected the DNS entries on the balancer! If not, we'll blame this on GPLv3 or IPv6 or some kind of technology with an 'x' in it... product names with an 'x' always sound cutting edge and therefore dangerous!

  • Please, don't even try to imagine a beowulf cluster of these!
  • You are talking about squids cache size, right?
  • Inbreeding? (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I'm surprised it didn't have two heads, being that it was from Tasmania!
  • I don't understand how they're getting the 8 meters. You can see a guy's shoe in the picture for comparison, and the whole thing looks like it's about 2 meters long. It is big, but I was picturing something more sci-fi style from the description.
    • by palinurus (111359)
      the article actually says that it's only 2 meters long. there must have been an editorial error converting metric to metric for the posting.
      • It does say it. Probably just be an error in the article or the quotation.

        "It's a whopper," Tasmanian Museum senior curator Genefor Walker-Smith told local media on Wednesday. "The main mantle is about one meter across and its total length is about eight meters."
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by iluvcapra (782887)
      The mantle, which is to say the body is two meters long. The other 6 is tentacles.
    • obviously it was a guy measuring
    • by djupedal (584558)
      Total length includes the tentacles, at least one of which is larger and much, much longer than the rest, terminating in a paddle:

      == - - - - - - -(:==}
    • I don't understand how they're getting the 8 meters. You can see a guy's shoe in the picture for comparison

      This is old news so I have to think back, but I recall than the tentacles appear to be chopped off, probably because the squid has been partly eaten. Perhaps the longer length is the estimated length when it was alive.

    • The guy has very large feet
    • by jinxidoru (743428)
      According to the article, the squid is 2 meters long. The 8.62 meter figure was clearly taken from the line in the article that reads: "Last year, fishermen off the Falkland Islands caught a complete animal measuring 8.62 meters."
  • didn't someone catch a colossal squid in a net accidently about 6 months ago?
  • Where did I leave my copy of the Necronomicon [wikipedia.org]. Just when it would have come in useful!
  • So many lately (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LinuxInDallas (73952) on Friday July 13, 2007 @09:42PM (#19855629)
    I'm I the only one who thinks it's strange that all of a sudden there is a relatively large number of giant squid washing up on beaches? We've gone from barely hearing about them to every few months seeing a dead one appear on a beach.
    • by sam_paris (919837)
      And I for one welcome our many tentacled, bulging eyed, briny-breathed overlords from the deep!
    • Re:So many lately (Score:5, Informative)

      by Choad Namath (907723) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @12:12AM (#19856365)
      From Wikipedia:

      Many scientists who have studied squid mass strandings believe that they are cyclical and predictable, but the length of time between strandings is not yet known. A period of 90 years between mass strandings has been proposed by Frederick Aldrich, an Architeuthis specialist, who used this value to correctly predict a relatively small stranding that occurred between 1964 and 1966. By and large, however, squid strandings remain a yet unsolved problem.
      It is strange, but it doesn't seem to be a new phenomenon.
      • by Nazlfrag (1035012)
        90 years ago... 1917. That concludes it. I now have all the proof I need of a Grand Tentacle conspiracy.

        Just think of all those war movies and docos, why did they have all that barbed wire and defensive guns on the beaches? Why did the British navy suddenly collapse to these 'submarines'? All those narrow trenches, wide enough for men but too narrow for an 8-metre squid? Why did we need giant tanks to replace cavalry (hint - look at a giant squid next to a horse).

        The great question remains, why was this cov
    • by Rogerborg (306625)
      Mmm huh, I think I get what you mean. Notice how this all kicked off when Marsha Stewart got out of prison in 2005 on the very same day that scientists at Florida State University concluded that Homo floresiensis is a separate species from Homo sapiens? See? See the connection? No, don't say it out loud; the Girl Scouts are monitoring my communications.
    • Couldn't that be the result of a more aware media?
    • Indeed. There was a story on this here before, complete with ammonia explanations etc.

      Cue 'global warming' nutjobs in 5...4...3...
      • by petrus4 (213815)
        If you disagree with the global warming explanation, can you offer us an alternative?
    • We've gone from barely hearing about them to every few months seeing a dead one appear on a beach.

      We're also using what was just recently cutting-edge military technology, including satellite tech, to hunt wildlife these days.

      I doubt the fishermen who caught one off the Falklands were using worms on hooks.
  • Run for your life, the ancient ones have arrived!
  • You can have a closer look at it here [powerboat-world.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Finally found a shot of the octopus I mentioned

    http://theshadowlands.net/octo1.jpg [theshadowlands.net]

    Looking at that it would of been one hell of a big cephlapod, much bigger than a giant squid /signed kiwiguy
    • by Neeth (887729)
      I believe this to be fake. The tentacles look painted. Maybe inspired by Captain Nemo spotting a giant squid?
  • These creatures normally thrive unseen by humans at great depths. With the ocean currents and the resultng temperature levels changing, I imagine we'll continue seeing mixed up wildlife.


    -FL

    • by Tweekster (949766)
      Normally? this could have been a fluke
      if it happens repeatidly i may agree, but since it a rare occurance that has been happening for hundreds of years i doubt it is anything new from climate
      • if it happens repeatidly i may agree, but since it a rare occurance that has been happening for hundreds of years i doubt it is anything new from climate

        It's at least the second or third time in twelve months.


        -FL

        • by Tweekster (949766)
          And?

          • And?

            Oh. I thought when you said rare, you meant a couple of times every hundred years.

            I just did some searching, and found that there were two in the last six months.
            Here [independent.co.uk] and here [physorg.com]. One off the coast of Australia, and another around New Zealand.

            Is two enough for a pattern? No, but it is noteworthy. According to this item [go.com] it seems that squid in general, (off California's coast) are behaving oddly. They think it may be due to the reduction of natural predators, but who knows?

            -FL

    • ... My favorite Bugs Bunny quote.

  • to google:
    This is what happened to the last company CEO that got in the way of ACCC
  • "So long, and thanks for all the fish."
  • phn'glui mglwnafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn! Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn!
  • On the beach at -30.68 latitude 114.26 longitude, upon viewing the more than 8 meter (26 ft) long squid, a 4 year 85 day 522 minute old child looked up to see a colorful butterfly with almost a 13-cm (5-in) wingspan traveling at an average 2.32 cm/s (0.91 in/s) at an incline exceeding 23. At just after 11:20 AM, the child asked his nearly 30 year old mother how many sea creatures grew to almost 8 meters (26 ft) in length and 250 kg (550 lb) when stretched out on a beach with their drying carcass receiving
  • by Rai (524476)
    The tentacles had been badly damaged, so the overall length of the animal could not be determined...

    So hentai girls can now breathe a little easier.
  • Despite the relative obscurity of mine, I'll start.

    You're welcome.

      -l

    /yes, it's vulgar rather than giant, so kiss my ass

  • by GrahamCox (741991) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @11:40PM (#19864271) Homepage
    The creature was actually washed up in New Zealand, and was then moved to a facility in Tasmania for dissection. For those who are geographically challenged, New Zealand is a separate country some distance from Australia.

We gave you an atomic bomb, what do you want, mermaids? -- I. I. Rabi to the Atomic Energy Commission

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