Squid? I don't see any squid?


Jan 15, 2005
Hi there gang,

Now that I have found what is probably the best source of information on anything Cepholapod, I can finally ask a question that has been bugging me for awhile.
I did a search of the forums to see if my question was answered already, but unfortunately I couldn't find one. If I missed something, or am asking a question that has been asked ad naseum, please accept my apology.

Anyway, here we go.

Based on the supposed numbers of squid, giant or not, in the worlds oceans; coupled with the amazing underwater technology available. Why hasn't a "Giant Squid" been seen healthy and alive? (I know that Architeuthis is the only one designated "Giant" but I used the " " to indecate a general name, as I know there are a few large species of squid.

The biomass of the worlds squid has been talked about in many places including here,
So I won't go into the information I know regarding the Statistical numbers (not much believe me).
As stated in that post, it would make logical sense that at least 1 squid would have been seen. I know there have been some videos made of other species like the Humbolt, and here, and here.
While these videos are impressive and the squid are large, they still are not the "Giants".

There has been conserted efforts to enter the squids domain and try to find it, such as the 1999 expedition with Dr. Clyde Roper and others (look at the names of the NIWA scientists. Your famous Steve :) ). As far as I can remember from seeing the TV show that came out of this expedition, nothing was found. Now this group was diving in a supposed "Hot Spot" for Giant squid, with many squid being caught in the area. Yet, nothing.

The idea of the critter cams, was brought up in other posts, and they (as far as I can remember) haven't been succesful. I do remember a show I had see regarding the cameras and Sperm Whales, and it looked as if one of the other whales swam up, looked at the camera, and knocked it off. Now that was Anthropomorphysing(sp?) a bit as we really don't know what the other whale was thinking at the time.

So.. A couple of theories I have been thinking about, and please be kind when you slash them all apart, as I bruise easily.

1. Anything living in a dark environment would have hightened awareness. Wether is it a sensitivity to water preassure, temperature change, ESP Super Radar, or whatever; the squid would be warned before anything was able to get close. From personal experience with the smaller brethren of the "Giants", they can swim FAST. I would assume (and I know assumptions are bad, bad, bad) that the biggies can put out quite a bit of speed as well.

If this theory is remotely accurate, it would make sense that the squid would know something was coming down ontop of it. I would think that a Sperm Whales head would push up quite a preasssure wave and the squid would try to scoot out. This would also make sense of a sub in the environment. An object that makes noise, click, whirrs and gurgles would probably put a squid on edge. If lights are turned on, it becomes an even stranger object. Time to get out of town.

This Theory brings up the question on how a whale would be able to catch the squid for dinner. The most plausible theory I have read, is the whale using a "blast" of noise to stun the squid for a half second. Just long enough to grab it. I have read an article regarding the head of a baby sperm whale being MRI'ed and showing the "lens" in the head. It goes on to explain how the noise is made at the nose directed back towards the skull, the sound passes through the spermaceti(sp?), hits the skull, is reflected forward and "focused" by the lens. The sound blast coming out of the nose is supposedly loud enough to stun and sometimes kill prey. Here is a link to the article by Ted Cranford for Discover magazine (Sorry, I had a brain fart. You need to be a member to see the full article. I'll work on a solution). This is another site regarding the sound theory, and I am sorry but it isn't a very informative one. I have seen others, and when I find a better one, I will change the link.

Anyway, this theory will remain that until we can figure out some way to see the hunt actualy going on. Man I hope I'm alive to see that footage.
Here is a site with some stills of a vidoe made to try and show that hunt.

Theory #2 is a much smaller one. :)

The numbers are wrong.

That is a trite answer, but I have found that when it comes to using hard statistics on a fluid (no pun intended) ecosystem, errors can be made due to a variety factors.
I am not an environmental statistics expert and I could be talking out of my bum here, but the numbers I have read regarding the biomass of squids in the worlds oceans are incredible, to the point of being almost beyond belief.

I'm sorry that I don't have anything to back up my disbelief beyond the medium amount of number crunching I have done for my Archeology work. Maybe I should just keep my head in the dirt.

So... There is a long winded version of a question that has been nagging me since I realised Giant Squid existed. Please keep in mind that I am an Archeologist and not a Cephalopod biologist, so my theories are only based on the information I have been able to dig up from various sources over the years.

Are my theories Way off base? or does anyone have any theories of their own?

I look forward to hearing responses.
Thanks Matt :smile:

This is a question that has bugged be for awhile.
Does anyone have other theories? or did I just ask a question that has been talked to death?

I would love to hear other ideas.

If this has been talked about in another post, could someone link it for me. I couldn't find one, but I have been known to be blind before.


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