Well, once again the oceans are trying to kill us. Can you blame them, really? We are AWFUL to the oceans. We dump Texas-sized flotillas of garbage into them, we install exploding oil rigs into them, we have a planet full of 7 billion people and when we need someone to explore them, we select James Cameron.
Well, once again the oceans are trying to kill us.
Can you blame them, really? We are AWFUL to the oceans. We dump Texas-sized flotillas of garbage into them, we install exploding oil rigs into them, we have a planet full of 7 billion people and when we need someone to explore them, we select James Cameron. Frankly if I were the oceans, I would be seriously hosed off, and probably be doing a lot more with my wealth of underwater volcanoes, but the ocean is apparently much nicer than I am. Frankly I'd be shooting off geysers of lethal lava every time one of us got in and pretended like we knew how to take "surfing lessons."
Turns out they're not entirely nice though! According to The News, the ocean has just coughed up another hideous mistake of nature: a giant squad that's been spotted off the coast of New South Wales (and by spotted I mean floating, because it was, at least, mercifully dead).
This means, first and foremost, that I am canceling any and all future vacations, trips, conventions, seminars and benders in New South Wales, as well as Old Wales and any other iterations of the entire Wales family, for the purposes of safety. Frankly until science can guarantee that I will never encounter any giant squid in the ocean ever — and frankly science has not been able to sell evolution to everybody, let alone the ability to take one lousy vacation to Sanibel/Captiva without being consumed by a 5,500-foot-long murderous aquatic Jeff-eating monster — then I shall not be setting foot in any water that has not been chlorinated to within an inch of its life. Seriously if my skin doesn't burn immediately upon getting in, I'm going to be upset.
The ocean is, of course, filled with all sorts of unpleasant abominations, such as jellyfish with 75-foot-long tentacles, bacteria that live near submerged volcano vents and literally any single person who visits a beach from the state of Ohio. But this giant squid thing is in a whole class by itself, judging by photos, available online, of fishermen coming upon the floating 12-foot-long carcass of what looks like a giant orange life raft/fun boat until you realize that it used to be alive and probably smells a lot like clams.
Al McGlashan, the fishing columnist who saw the ghastly remains and took a picture for people on the Internet to send to their vomitous friends, says the animal was probably recently deceased, owing to that it retained much of its original color and didn't smell that bad. I am certain that Al McGlashan is an excellent writer and expert at his job, but personally I am glad I don't have a career that requires me to compare the smell of a dead squid with a regular one.
The good news is that the creatures are evidently rare, elusive and not very delicious. Giant squids were first photographed in 2002, and video of one wasn't captured until 2006. This is partly because giant squid are very difficult to photograph, as they are shy and actually super-ugly, so that doesn't help. Also generally it's hard to take a picture of a giant underwater squid while you're screaming mangled underwater burbles of terror and furiously paddling to whatever is the nearest boat and then getting on that boat and crying for three hours, unless that is just me. It's probably just me. It would also be difficult to take a photo because I would be throwing up off of the other side of the boat.
Jeff Vrabel is not real happy about octopi either. He can be reached at http://jeffvrabel.com or followed at http://twitter.com/jeffvrabel.