September 30, 2005

Paging Captain Nemo...

Hatched by Sachi

"They seek him here, they seek him there...."

A few years ago, I saw a documentary about a scientific team from some European country (possibly France) and their effort to photograph a living giant squid. They picked the season carefully and searched an area where some dead squid had been found, but the search was ultimately unsuccessful.

Since then, nobody had ever gotten a good photo of a living giant squid. They're phantom creatures, almost legendary, and scientists have been searching for living specimens for decades. Dead bodies of giant squid have washed ashore many times; but no one had managed to observe a living one in its natural environment -- until now.

A team of Japanese scientists has finally videotaped a giant squid in nature:

Kubodera's team captured photos of the 26-foot-long beast attacking its bait, then struggling for more than four hours to get free. The squid pulled so hard on the line baited with shrimp that it severed one of its own tentacles

"It was quite an experience to feel the still-functioning tentacle on my hand," Kubodera, a researcher with Japan's National Science Museum, told The Associated Press. "But the photos were even better."

Not that I am biased or anything. But I am glad the Japanese team beat the French.

They seek him here, they seek him there,
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere!
Is he in heaven? Is he in -- er, you know --
That damned, elusive Pimpernel!

Hatched by Sachi on this day, September 30, 2005, at the time of 12:37 AM

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