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Sunday, 29 August 2010

The Squid's Terror of Dry Land

It's clearly still the "silly season" as far as the press is concerned. No real news - apparently; and the red tops are scrabbling around for something fill their pages.

The winner of the 2010 "The Daily Star" award for the most fantastical "silly season" story  goes to the Sunday Express:


I squid not. A report by the Express Enviroment (sic) Editor screams " Deadly sea monsters have awoken from the deep to cause carnage among some of the world's richest fishing grounds." 

This wouldn't be out of place in a 1950's Horror B Movie tailer. 

The "news" report continues  "Millions of killer giant squid are not only devouring vast amounts of fish they have even started attacking humans. Two Mexican fishermen were recently dragged from their boats and chewed so badly that their bodies could not be identified even by their own families."

I suspect this is not so. More likely disgruntled drug traffickers.

Other frighty stuff in the Express's report - how much does the editor get paid for this rubbish? - "Hunting in 1,000-strong packs the giant squid can out-swim and out-think fish. Scientists believe they coordinate attacks by using pigment cells to communicate...A single female is believed to be able to lay 30 million eggs, each one capable of becoming a giant killing machine."

“They are the most opportunistic predators on the planet. They eat everything in their path. One Humboldt squid in the course of two years can eat 27,000lb of fish. What is going to be the impact on the environment?”

You do wonder how this stuff gets to see the light of day. Until we learn that Channel Five has a programme this Tuesday called "Nature Shock: Killer Squid". And Channel Five is owned by Richard Desmond the owner of Express Group.

So this isn't even a bad news story - it's an ad.

I wouldn't mind except I am rather partial to the squid. Not to eat. No, I am captivated by them.

A few years back my wife and I went to Kew Gardens in West London. They had an aquarium. or at least a special exhibition on octopussies. Why, I have no idea - although in one of the pavilions they had koi carp you could stroke - maybe they thought a squid could be house trained.

There were loads of tanks with squid in them. They weren't at all fazed by the crowds and people snapping them.  Not a bit of it. These delightful creatures were stationary in the water their tentacles outstretched, taking in the scene with those huge brown speckled eyes.

Occasionally there'd be a slight ripple along their bodies as they adjusted their position. And then amazingly in a matter of seconds they'd semaphore - they'd flash as, what appeared to be fluorescent lights, moved up and down their bodies.

Such magic!  

I was transfixed - by the huge set of suckers that had entwinned me - sorry, a Daily Express moment. What I couldn't get my head around was how short were their lives - a couple of years. All that effort, that complexity, that beauty. But I suppose if you ain't got long to get noticed you invest a huge amount in display.

Which in a neat way comes back to the Express, its stable mates and their diet of celebs.


The Sagittarian said...

I've got a wind up Octopus thing that creeps along your desk when you wind it up...maybe it will attack me one day when I elast expect it. I'll let you have the scoop..
Haha, speaking of squid my Word Verification today is "inksful"

thedailyg said...

They were the smartest creatures on Earth, then along came Paris Hilton...

The Chick said...

Crap ! I must go prepare for the large squid attack which is most likely coming soon, just like the asteriod that is going to destroy the earth in 2012 ! And how about all the chemical warfare that was going to take place after 9/11 ! Damn we are just screwed ! Thank god for the Rags to tell us how to prepare for the end of the human race. You should have called this post a "Public Service Announcement"

PS - Sorry - I guess I've had too much java this morning :) I cracked myself up though