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Houdini vs. the Architeuthis

Nov 20, 2002
Last night I was watching ANIMAL PLANET's "Most Extreme" series, this week featuring "Most Extreme Sneaks / Cheats". One of the Top Ten was the Orangutan, one of whom figured out a way to fashion a makeshift key from a piece of wire, hide it in his mouth, and pick the locks of his and his friends' cages when the zookeepers weren't looking. He eventually became so famous for his lock-picking skills that he was made an honorary member of the local Locksmiths' Union! (You can read the full story in Eugene Linden's book THE OCTOPUS AND THE ORANGUTAN, which I reviewed for this site a while ago.)

Now, what does this have to do with cephs? Well, in the "Most Extreme" series, segments on the Top Ten animals are usually juxtaposed with anecdotes about human parallels. Not surprisingly, the Orang was likened to the great escape artist Harry Houdini. The narration related a list of the things from which Houdini escaped, including a coffin, a beer keg, a locked safe, and a preserved Giant Squid! (This was accompanied by an old etching of a Cuttlefish, not a Squid, so someone on AP didn't do his/her homework.) It then said that while no Orang was known to have escaped from a preserved Giant Squid, their escape skills were still quite impressive.

That was the first I'd heard of Houdini escaping from a pickled Archi, but one can only imagine what an incentive the smell alone was for the legendary master to get the hell outta there ASAP!

Tani the Uncanny :madsci:
Nov 20, 2002
Honestly I don't know if escaping from a dead and pickled squid is all that impressive, really, all you have to do is hang out till your nails grow long enough to claw your way out. If it were alive that would be another thing. Of course, I don't think I would like to be witness to this event in either case, I would probably be pretty unpopluar in the crowd as the sole person rooting for the squid! :meso:

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