From the colossal squid, of course. Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.


December 31, 2007

At last, something to really look forward to! Yes — a movie about a giant squid. It’s called $quid, and I’ll let the producers talk about the film on their spiffy Web site:

Imagine Anaconda directed by the Coen Brothers; a ‘creature feature’ driven by character rather than action. Then imagine a giant squid attacking a singles cruise on the out skirts of the Brisbane River. That is the inspiration for the feature film, $quid.

“Their debut feature film is in a class of it’s own. About a giant squid that terrorises a New Year’s Eve cruise on the Brisbane River, the film $quid, which is the brainchild of Brisbane Boys Daley Pearson & Luke Tierney even has it’s own genre.

“We’re calling it a Romster Comedy.”

“That’s a genre we invented which is a romantic, monster, comedy.”

Pearson & Tierney wrote and will direct, produce and edit the new film, which is being shot on location at the Brisbane River.

It will star Aussie actors Ed Kavalee [Thank God You’re Here, Boytown], Josh Lawson [Thank God You’re Here, Sea Patrol], Christian Clark [Neighbours], Henry Nixon [Noise, The Pacific], Brooke Sheehan and Lauren Lillie.

The feature film is based on the award-winning short film of the same name.

I didn’t even know Brisbane had a river. When this thing opens, I am so there.


October 8, 2007

I have been terribly remiss in maintaining the flow of stories about sharks and squid (giant and otherwise) that are part of The Opinion Mill’s founding philosophy. Fortunately, P.Z. Myers is doing his bit for Cephalopod Awareness Day with links to all kinds of invertebrate coolness, including what one blogger calls “the ubiquitous octopus vs. shark movie.” So maybe this post counts as a two-fer. 

CEPHALOBONUS: When cuttlefish attack!


July 6, 2007

It’s got the body of a squid and the arms of an octopus! It’s . . . it’s . . . it’s . . . the octosquid! (Thanks Geoff.)


March 27, 2007

Call it the revenge of the calamari.

Humboldt squid — those tough customers that can grow up to seven feet long and seize their prey with hook-lined tentacles — are expanding their range up and down the eastern Pacific coast. For the fishing industry, this is not happy news. Judging from this LA Times story, it isn’t such hot news for people, either:

In fact, very little is known about Humboldt squid because they spend most of their lives at depths of 650 to 3,000 feet.

But when they rise, they can provide some big surprises.

Four divers found that out when they tried to document the squids’ behavior in the Sea of Cortez 17 years ago. While a non-diving passenger battled to land a 14-foot thresher shark on rod-and-reel, Alex Kerstitch of Arizona and three friends submerged in the nighttime sea, carrying cameras. The divers settled near the dim fringes of the boat’s lights. They could see the weary shark being pulled toward the boat. Below, dozens of squid began flashing iridescently, red-white-red.

The flashing is carried out via millions of chromatophores within the skin, opened to reveal red, closed to reveal white; it is believed by some scientists to be a means of communication.

A five-foot squid flung itself onto the shark and tore an orange-sized chunk from its head.

Another squid zoomed forth, tentacles clasped before its beak, and snatched a long needlefish, leaving in its wake a trail of blood and scales.

The frenzy built and Kerstitch, as the lone diver shooting still photographs and with no bright movie lights to deter the predators, was set upon.

A squid grabbed his right swim fin and pulled downward. He kicked it away but another grabbed his head. The cactus-like tentacles found his neck, the only part of his body not covered with neoprene.

He bashed the squid with his dive light, far less bright than the movie lights, and it let go, but it swiped both the light and the gold chain he’d been wearing.

Another squid wrapped its tentacles around his face and chest. Kerstitch dug his fingers into its clammy body.

It slid down and around his waist and pulled him downward in pulsing bursts. Then it suddenly let go, but made off with his compression meter.

For whatever reason, the attack ceased and Kerstitch got to the surface dazed and oozing blood from neck wounds, thankful to be alive.

The incident became legendary among divers, the first of many painful but, so far, nonfatal encounters by divers with Humboldt squid.

And because you know I’m not going to let this post end without showing something scary, savor this:

In 1982, Nelson Ehrhardt, a professor at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, embarked on a project aboard a purse-seine vessel and, in an interview three years ago, described what he saw when the boat’s large net was hauled up:

“The biomass of Dosidicus was so large that the animals could not swim or pump water through their respiratory systems, suffocating them. What was terrifying was the frenzy that this situation created . . . Cannibalism took place as a natural reaction and certainly if any animal of any type, including humans, would have fallen into the net, it would have been consumed in a matter of minutes.”

Yum! Hey, anybody up for a little night diving? Hello? Anybody?


February 22, 2007

This business about the Constitution and defending American values is all well and good, you say, but what about giant squid? 

Well, today I’ve got something even better than a giant squid — a colossal squid! Caught alive (just barely) and intact off New Zealand. After you read the news item, consult this story about what a true badass the colossal squid can be — it’s those swiveling hooks inside the suckers, kind of like a Humboldt squid on steroids –and then check out some of the great pictures here. (Thanks, Geoff.)