[News]: Is Man Killing The Giant Squid - Associated Content

wow, that's about the worst article on giant squids I've ever read. Not so much because the low level facts are wrong, but because the author makes up completely incorrect interpretations of, well, just about everything. I think this calls for an MST3K response:

Is Man Killing The Giant Squid?
By L. Vincent Poupard
Cryptozoology is the study of animals that are rumored to exist, but for which conclusive proof is missing. This includes the search for living examples of animals that are known to have existed at one time, but are widely considered to be extinct today. Those who study or search for such animals are called cryptozoologists, while the hypothetical creatures involved are referred to by some as "cryptids", a term coined by John Wall in 1983.

So, our definitinion of cryptozoology has ruled out its application to giant squids, which do exist, for which there is conclusive proof, and are not widely considered to be extinct, and are studied by teuthologists, although they also appeal to cranks, er, I mean cryptozoologists.

Reports have been surfacing about giant squid being recorded across the world. Most people do not understand the scientific significance, or the repercussions or this frenzy.

Most crank science journalists don't understand that in the internet age, more obscure sightings will get reported because the world is much more connected than it ever has been before, and that the toothfish industry has migrated to an area where it's in new territory occupied by mesonychoteuthis, although it's not clear that crank science journalists know the difference between species of "hypothetical cryptids" anyway.

The Kraken has been a mainstay in the mythology of seafarers for centuries. Stories of a type of giant squid that could tear a man in half, or pull a ship apart have been a part of literature as seen in, "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." For years, the existence of this type of creature was in doubt.

Maybe, but those years ended in the 19th century when the animal was classified by zoologists.

Cryptozoology is the study of animals that are rumored to exist, but have not been conclusively proven. The giant squid was a favored subject of many cryptozoologists. The fact that the existence of giant squid has been proven, many cpyptozoologists find themselves torn between an emotion of elation, and one of fear.

Is there an echo in here? Re-stating your definition of cryptozoology won't make it apply any better. By the way, you should probably use a spell-checker. Oh, maybe the problem is that spell-checkers think "cryptozoologist" isn't a real word, even when spelled correctly. Anyway, since actual scientists study giant squids, it seems rather daft to use the emotions of cryptozoologists as the yardstick for the article.

On September 30th, 2004, the National Science Museum of Japan and the Ogasawara Whale Watching Association successfully took the first pictures of a giant squid. It was over 26 feet from tip to tip. The pictures were released to the world on September 27th, 2005.

Um, I think we need a few more details, like "living" and "at its natural depth." People have been taking pics of architeuthis corpses about, oh, as long as cameras have existed...

This began a frenzy across the world as different scientific organizations decided that they wanted noticed as an organization that made a significant stride forward in the discovery of the giant squid.

Does this guy have an editor? "noticed" is not a noun. Anyway, apparently, in this fellow's world, once an animal is "discovered," and by this I mean "photographed in a new way," it's important for everyone to start working toward discovering the animal in order to get credit for it. Does the phrase "Architeuthis Steenstrup 1857b" ring any bells? No? Maybe you can win the "no-bell" prize!

In late 2005, and early 2006, two intact carcasses, one in ice and one fresh, were brought forward by different organizations. This prompted a university in France to offer 50,000 EU to anyone who was able to produce a live specimen for their facility. In a reaction to this, forty-seven other facilities placed bounties for a live giant squid.

I remember something like this from Benchley's The Beast movie... maybe these cryptozoologists need to look in Steve's freezer. If there are really 48 bounties of 50,000 EU, maybe it's time to try for larvae again; it doesn't seem to say it has to be an adult live specimen. And I wonder where these 48 facilities think they'd put a live architeuthis. I can just picture the delivery truck "I've got your 30 foot live squid, it's in a plastic bag of water. that'll be 50,000 euros cash on delivery. You might want to drip-acclimatize it to your tank for a few hours to avoid shock."

Since 2005, over 600 sightings of giant squid have surfaced. Many of these stories have gone unsubstantiated because of lack of evidence. Many of these reports have come from groups that are actively searching out giant squid.

Dood, I dropped acid and went out in my zodiac looking for giant squid, and everywhere I looked, I saw writhing tentacles! It's squids all the way down, man!

Seriously, what groups go out actively searching for giant squids without bringing a camera. Dood: there's one! Who's got the camera? No one brought a camera? I thought after the last 599 times, we had agreed that one of us had to bring a camera. Ok, Joey's mom says he can't use the camera any more after he scratched the lens when we were looking for Camelot in the back yard.

Cryptozoologists, of course are elated that proof has come forward about the existence of a creature that they have spent years researching. Many, though, are scared that this heightened interest in the giant squid will be bad for the newly confirmed species.

Cryptozoologists, apparently, haven't been paying attention to current events since 1857 or so. Cryptozoologists also seem to only have emotions. Isn't it traditional for journalists to, like, interview people for articles before writing stuff like this, so they can say "for example, cryptozoologist Lori Lovecraft reports that she is elated and fearful, since now that she's discovered that giant squids exist, she's convinced there are several in nooks and crannies around her bedroom."

In the Seventies, when the interest in the Loch Ness Monster was at its peak, hundred of boats ended up on the Loch everyday. This continued through the mid-Eighties when many researchers began to give up hope.

Last time I was at Loch Ness, there were pretty much boats (and windsurfers) there all the time.

Since then, there have been very few reported sightings of the creature in the famed lake in Scotland. Many cryptozoologists believe that the heightened traffic on the lake may have killed Nessie (as the creature is called).

Gee, if Nessie had been killed in the 80s, wouldn't that mean that there should be no reported sightings at all? Or do you suppose that some of the sightings were fakes and hysteria? Do you think that maybe in the 70s when "interest was at its peak" the fakes and hysteria might, er, also have been proportionally higher, too? Just askin'...

Since many of the people that are searching for the giant squid are not trained scientists, their attempts to catch the creature may cause more harm then could be anticipated. A seafarer that is just looking for a bounty my not take the proper care that would be needed to bring a specimen back to shore without killing it.

As much as I think the spirit of this continues to be silly, I don't think anyone, scientist or no, has the foggiest idea of how to keep an architeuthis alive in a tank on a boat. Or does this guy think it should be on a leash next to the boat?

Also, there have been a handful of areas around the world that have been declared as areas where giant squid may be found. These areas have become very populated with people attempting to cash in on a large monetary prize.

Er, these areas are very, very big, and many are pretty far in the boondocks. Even if we buy the Loch Ness model, there's conservatively at least a million times more water in Giant Squid Country than there is in Loch Ness, and Loch Ness is big, too. And, by the way, even if one believes there was one Nessie which was killed (which raises all sorts of biological questions) there are at least thousands of giant squids, probably a good deal more. And, based on results, I suspect they're not in places where amateur squid hunters can have much of an impact...

Basic environmental science will teach that any significant change to an animal's natural surroundings may prove deadly for the animal. It would not be unlikely to have to declare the giant squid extinct just a few years after it was discovered.

I honestly have run out of sarcasm at this point. It's too bad that this article is so completely irrational, because I think it's a valid question whether fishing in the Ross Sea is significant enough to impact the habitat of Mesonychoteuthis yet. But I think Mr. Poupard is not the most qualified journalist to pursue an investigation.

Wow, it's probably been a complete waste of a half hour doing this, but getting a bit of sarcasm out of my system was kinda fun... Since I imagine this "journalist" will never read this, I don't even have to feel as guilty about poking the crank as I did about the "Squids on Mars" guy (which, admittedly, ranked pretty low on the guilt scale.) But boy, I'm never going to the "Associated Content" site for any real news...
Pretty darn shocking reporting there indeed!

We need a flame/torch emoticon - torch & burn tht nonsense!
Interestingly enough (or not) a Surrealchemist called Tony 'Doc' Shiels (who 'took' (read faked) the best pictures of Nessie ever taken and created the Cornish Sea Monster Morgawr and also the Owlman of Mawnan Woods) suggested that the Loch Ness Monster was actually an unclassified giant squid, called something like the elephant squid.
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