Favourite media untruth about Archi.


Staff member
Site Owner
May 30, 2000
Some of you may remember this classic thread from the "old" message board system (pre-November 2002). Enjoy!

-- tonmo


Favourite media untruth about Archi.|phil_eyden|
I thought it might be fun if we listed our favourite media untruths (is that a word?) about Architeuthis. As Steve O has pointed out on these boards the media simply cannot get their facts right about the creature.

My favourite was in the 'Daily Express', a major UK newspaper last year. It was a report on an experimental deep sea submersible that was supposed to be able to withstand incredible pressures. The sub was supposed to be able to penetrate the Challenger Depth in the Marianas Trench (the deepest point in the ocean) where scientists were expecting to encounter the home of the giant squid. As if there is only one of the beasts.

Oh dear.

Re: Favourite media untruth about Archi.|tani|
...the home of the giant squid. As if there is only one of the beasts.

Well, we could give the blokes the benefit of the doubt and assume they were referring to "squid" as a plural noun (since, like "fish", it can be used that way). But knowing the media.... naaah.

If it makes you feel any better, though, Nessie -- whether or not you believe in Nessie -- has been given the same treatment. You know, "the Loch Ness Monster had its photo taken," or "the Loch Ness Monster may be an elasmosaur," etc. Assuming there really is such a thing, whatever species it is, there would have to be a whole bunch of 'em that have been living, dying, and reproducing in Loch Ness for several centuries (or, more likely, millennia). If there were really just a Loch Ness Monster, it would have to be about a bazillion years old.... which may or may not be less plausible than the idea that such critters exist at all. (I'll leave that one up to the cryptozoologists and the Inverness Tourist Board :wink:)

Come to think of it, that "singular" mode of speech is applied by the media to just about every creature in the Is-It-or-Ain't-It category: Bigfoot, the Yeti, the Ogopogo, la Chupacabra, etc. So perhaps the habit of referring to Archi that way is a remnant of the days when it, too, inhabited the realm of cryptozoology.

But I digress. My fave media untruth about Archi is, of course, the "horrible scary bloodthirsty beast" image. If you don't think this misconception still exists, just ask anyone outside the cephalofan community, and chances are they'll buy into that image. Of course, some of them actually like Archis for that reason (the "shudder factor") -- I confess I used to fall into that category myself! -- but disappointing though it may be, that myth must still be dispelled.

Now that I know what pussycats Archis really are (at least compared to Humboldts, Mesonychos, Moros, and yes, Tanis), I still find them absolutely fascinating and would dearly love to see a live one someday.

Tani (the non-violent sort)

Re: Re: Favourite media untruth about Archi.|tani|
...la Chupacabra, etc.
Ahem.... kindly make that el Chupacabra. Seems I have forgotten either my college Spanish or my cryptozoology.

¡Lo siento, compadres!

Re: Favourite media untruth about Archi.|steve_oshea|
The 4 'untruths' that really tick me off are:
Lengths of 60 feet
Weights of 1 ton
'reeks of ammonia'.
Worlds largest invertebrate

A fresh Archi doesn't smell at all.

They could reach 40 feet, relaxed (although I've not seen one this large).

Max weight (female, being the largest) is 300kg.

Some salps are longer than 40 feet.

Re: Favourite media untruth about Archi.|tintenfisch|
Ooh! Ooh!
I like the 'pulls down whole ships of valiantly fighting sailors with its mighty venomous tree-trunk-sized TENTACLES OF DOOM' one.

Re: Re: Favourite media untruth about Archi.|tani|
...Worlds largest invertebrate

They could reach 40 feet, relaxed (although I've not seen one this large).

Some salps are longer than 40 feet.
OK, Steverino, I admit you sent me on a netsearch with this one -- I never heard of salps before. But none of the stuff I found online indicated a length of 40 ft. for the critters -- I will have to take your expert word on that one. On the other hand, I have heard of Nemertines/Nemerteans exceeding a length of 100 ft. (more than 90 meters). And if I'm not mistaken, some Cyanea (spelling?) jellyfish have 100 ft. tentacles and an "umbrella" 6 ft. in diameter.

Perhaps when people refer to Archi as the "largest" invert, they are referring to weight + length, not length alone. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I assume those other "longfellows" are lightweights compared to The Mighty Dux.

PS: How do you get an Archi to relax -- do you give it Squidatsu, or maybe Squidish massage?


Re: Favourite media untruth about Archi.|steve_oshea|
....to relax 'em good I just sing a few verses of 'Longfellow Squidinade', by my old pal Neil D.

Ya, tiz that weight business again - Archi is probably the weightiest invert (just like Haliphron [/]is the weightiest octopod) - but it's certainly not the longest.

A salp is akin to those jellyfish Tani; I've an old B & W photo here of a most mighty monster salp dwarfing a diver - a most mighty diver-swallowing wetsuit digesting salp it is too - capable of bringing down a mighty ship and all the seamen who sail in her.
Cheers, O

Re: Favourite media untruth about Archi.|tani|
Hey, can this thread include media untruths about other cephs as well? If so, stop the presses! Here is the most blatantly awful octopus "news story" I've ever seen -- taken from Snopes' very entertaining Urban Legends Site:

Woman Births Octopus

(WARNING: Rated PG-13 for "Yecch Factor"!)

Re: Favourite media untruth about Archi.|steve_oshea|

Shop Amazon

Shop Amazon
Shop Amazon; support TONMO!
Shop Amazon
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.