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    Thursday, September 29, 2005

    Dagon? Not Quite But Still Amazing...

    Stardate 4629.0

    I always remember the tales... 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and others. I have been fascinated with squid, octopi and many other cephalopods for a long time now. Perhaps it is the absolute alien nature of their appearance, communication and habitat, or maybe something else like the inherent intelligence shown by many of the smaller species of cephalopods. This picture is classic, and induces the fear of the unknown depths of our largely unexplored oceans into the hearts of seamen everywhere. It also makes for some pretty exciting reading or movie watching. Legends of giant squid hundreds of feet long, devouring not only the crews, but the entire ships of olde. One of my favorite authors, H.P. Lovecraft, has explored many deep-sea creatures, and went as far as to base a complete mythois off of many existing creatures and deities. The Ancient Old Ones like Cthulhu and Dagon may have come from the stars, but they most certainly live in the darkest depths of our own oceans. But this is all the stuff of fantasy and dark myth. Or is it?

    Some of these real life Architeuthi have been studied, but always, they are either dead and washed up or dying in a deep-sea fisherman's nets. Never have they been witnessed in their natural habitat until now.

    Yahoo - Scientists capture giant squid on camera...

    This news and the pictures have been floating around the weeb for a few days now, so I thought I would post about it too,since really, it is just so darned cool. These monstrous beasts have been measured up to 18 meters or 59 feet in length, and there have been some sightings and photos of them prior to this. However, this is the first time that scientists have studied the Architeuthis hunting and attacking (bait) in it's natural environment. It is obviously very difficult to study these creatures, especially locating them to begin with. The amount of specialised equipment needed is amazing.

    The scientists were surprised by how aggressively the Architeuthis attacked the bait. I am not sure I would be so surprised. They seem to be built to kill and considering their size, and the amount of food they would require to propel their monstrous bulks around the highly pressurized deep sea, they would need a lot food indeed. Imagine the pressure the Architeuthis could exert with it's tentacles, which can exceed 6 meters in length! These creatures are often eaten by large whales, and one can only envision the terrifying battles between such deep sea monsters.

    These pictures were taken approximately 900 meters below sea level in the North Atlantic. Other pictures have been seen showing these beasts, both alive in the ocean as well as the many of them on beaches and even in labs, but not feeding in their natural environment like these. This is new, and will likely lead to further exploration and study of these massive, ominous creatures.

    This old picture was taken when an Architeuthis was found in Norway in 1954. Of course, back then and even earlier there was no equipment available to attempt to track and study these creatures. There were parts of them on display in museums as early as the 17th and 18th centuries, but they were never listed in official Zoology texts until 1857. Imagine the terror in the 17th century if one of these was found on the beach! Nowadays, with television, movies and all other forms of media, we are exposed to more horrific creatures every day, both real and fantastic.

    This is a CGI representation created by ARL but still quite a cool and accurate image in my opinion, not that I am an authority on Architeuthi by any means...

    All opinions shared on this site are strictly my own. Some people may disagree and that is fine, but rude comments or overzealous debate will be curtailed. I enjoy civil discourse, and encourage independent thought. I oppose George W. Bush and his Wars based on lies.

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