TV show on Giant Pacific Octopus Attack

Feb 11, 2006
Hello everyone!

There will be a show on the GPO on History Channel tonight. I got to work on the show. have not seen the final edit cut so Im not sure how it will come out. We got some cool footage of a GPO comming at me but when it got there it grabbed me but was in a very gentle manner.


Let me know what you guys think. Diving Puget sound is kinda sketchy with the currents. It should be entertaining.

OMG, that blurp is the worst piece of Alten I've seen in a long, long time. I would reckon the chances of an encounter with a 20 ton octopus to be best described by a nice round number....

You could try the Bahama's next time, in search of the Lusca :shock:

Luckily, I have no doubt that your footage as usual will be brilliant and sufficient reason to watch, regardless :wink:

Thanks in advance!
I missed the post until it was half over but Neal set up the DVR for tomorrow night so we can see it and not miss the Olympics. Thanks for the notice!

Diving Puget sound is kinda sketchy with the currents. It should be entertaining.
Am I to assume you turn green :yuck: in this one too?
There are some nice GPO shots, but most is typical Monster Quest, the search for an enormous octopus, putting out lots of underwater cameras, and finding nothing :smile:

ow, the stupid hurts my brain. And the misrepresentation-- I assume that Richard Ellis told them that most (all?) of the globsters that they listed have been identified as whale parts via DNA, and they just edited it out (cut to fanatical cryptozoologist "expert")

And I'm only 5 minutes in. Still, as always, nice to see Dale and Scott having fun diving.

edit: bah. made up controversy about blobs. cool camera toys, though. Why would a 100 foot octopus eat 10 foot octopuses, anyway? Wouldn't it eat, like blue whales, or the hypothesized-by-cryptozoologists 50 foot lobsters? I'm the "this can't be whale collagen" guy certainly didn't make the case that the stuff was octopus muscle. What's the electron microscopy of big, gelatinous species look like? I bet it's not like whale collagen... so either the blob is a species of octopus that's not like muscular nor gelatinous cephalopods, or it's NOT A CEPHALOPOD.


Also, um, Scott saying "I am a firm believer that the Octopus gigantus for real is a true species"? I can understand "I'd love for this to be a real species," but that sounds pretty silly.

edit: and the computer graphics octopus is awful... but I'm a snob about that.

edit: gah, the beak isn't made of bone. Also "the octopus' beak is linearly proportional to its size." I seem to remember Jean and Steve objecting to my even using that as a rough approximation. Very, verry silly. And the octopus doesn't crack clams by the force of its beak. And anyway, force doesn't scale linearly with size, it scales linearly as cross section of muscle, so the hypothetical 15x as long octo would be 15 x 15 times as strong, hence 225 times as strong. But octos drill or pull clams apart and paralyze them with cephalotoxin, anyway, so the whole experiment is meaningless. (Also, 200 foot octopuses don't exist anyway :razz: )

by the way, having a GPO yank your mask off seems a lot scarier in those "mask + regulator + microphone" things-- do you guys keep an "octopus" spare normal regulator, too?

As usual, the dive footage is awesome. It's frustrating that the MonsterQuest folks seem to feel a need to sensationalize and believe in a 200' octopus, when you guys got to do so much cool stuff... the sunstar footage is great, the GPO looked fun to play with (heck, the footage of the GPO pulling off some other guy's mask looked fun, too, although it's hard for me to stay calm enough to have fun when my mask is flooding even for mundane reasons. )

Maybe I'm just overly cynical, but I think it's sad that the actual cool cephalopods aren't "enough." It's great that you guys get paid and sponsored, but the spin seems kind of "glamorize science by being unscientific" in nature.
Neal watched a little but DVRed the whole thing for us to watch later but he mentioned that it looked like Scot lost a hose and was wearing the full mask - hard to buddy breath with one of those contraptions! I look forward to seeing it and won't read any more spoilers until I do :tongue:
just... wow....

I had a couple buddies who were undergrads (now graduate students) that helped me with my GPO and O. rubescens research in the sound to watch this with me. It was an hour of nearly non-stop laughs :lol:. All the just sensationalized, largely untrue hype just killed me. Unfortunately, The sensationalism covered up and replaced much of the truly amazing things about these animals. :banghead:
Giant Squid Part Two

Hello Dale,
I noticed that the Monster Quest program is returning to the hunt for a larger than normal humboldt squid - are you or have you been involved in it?
daviddickinson;122966 said:
Hello Dale,
I noticed that the Monster Quest program is returning to the hunt for a larger than normal humboldt squid - are you or have you been involved in it?


Like Dr. Evil from Austin Powers. We want to get squids with "lasers" on their heads.:roflmao:

The main difference between Humboldts and GPOs is the attitude. A squid will bite you if it gets ahold of you and the GPO just gives you a hug.

Once again, the life of a diver is not spend in the edit room. On this shoot we were given specific missions. We filmed what we did and then gave the tapes to History Channel. Remember everyone, this is TV and is made for ENTERTAINMENT. After you guys got done watching it they should have had a GPO come on the screen and yell like the movie Gladiator...."ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!!!"

It was a great time up there, the currents were kinda gnarly but the boat captain and the charter service at Bandido Charters was top notch. If you ever want to dive with a GPO I would highly recomend them.

Remember its called "Monster Quest" kinda lame if they arent talking about a MONSTER. The bottom of the sea in Washington is full of life. Its like swimming around in a crab/clam freezer.

Remember, the up side is that with all of these TV companies getting ratings regarding underwater ceph stuff, there will be more funding to go out and do these expeditions. The more time with cameras and divers in the water the better chance we have of finding stuff. Maybe not a Giant Octo but maybe a new species of some type. The underwater aqua pix camera was awesome. If we had a fleet of those deployed around various spots there is really no telling what they will photograph.

The one on the giant Humboldt squid should be entertaining as well. I am not sure when it will air yet. As soon as I know I will tell the Tonmo Board first.

Diver Dale
It's interesting to hear your point of view! I loved the dive sequences and it's good to hear from someone actually involved.

All the Monster Quests are entertaining, so maybe that's why so many people watch them. And maybe everyone just wishes that sooner or later they'd actually get a decent photo of Big Foot or one of the other monsters. :smile:
Anyway, if was a good excuse to see some very interesting footage! Don't we all wish we could dive with the GPOs.

thanks for the answers, Dale! I was a bit worried that I would come across as too grumpy, there. I certainly have a hot button about docu-tainment, because I get frustrated that the presentation doesn't make clear that a lot of what is represented as "scientific controversy" is just fringe kookiness... I assume you guys didn't really expect to find the silly thing (if for no other reason than that you didn't go any deeper than other divers around the area do) but it seemed like Scott was willing to "play it up" to a degree... I like to be able to treat your and Scott's observations of the Humboldts as accurate, even if Scott's a bit prone to melodrama. Melodrama's a small price to pay to get people to sponsor your dives and buy you cool toys, I suppose, though.

Probably, some of this is my own backlash: I used to be very excited by all of the weird fringe stuff as a kid (Loch Ness Monster, UFOs, Atlantis/Bermuda Triangle/Philadelphia Experiment) and, as a kid, I thought books in the non-fiction section of the library were, well, not fiction. As I started to study real, actual science, I was dismayed to find that most of those topics are twisting the truth or making stuff up or perpetuating rumors and hoaxes, presumably with the goal of selling books, and I felt like I'd been ripped off and lied to. I am immensely pleased the giant squids are one of the few of the things I read about that turned out to actually be real!

Anyway, I didn't mean to vent my resulting bile on you, I just think the MonsterQuest people have shown not just that they aren't interested in the actual facts, but that they're willing to be deliberately misleading. I'm actually a bit curious about your experience of the filmmakers-- did they actually think there was a 200' octopus, or did they just think it would be good entertainment to take the search for the 200' octopus seriously for dramatic effect?

I'm glad you're doing (did?) the squids-with-lasers trick... is that using the idea that came up in the other MonsterQuest thread of two parallel lasers mounted on the squidcam to get good range and size estimates? Or something else? Or do I just have to wait and see?

The filmmakers of the show, or the Producers, are held to a standard on how the program is put together. The program is designed to be entertaining to as many different people as possible. The producers are not divers or ocean explorers. They have no idea if the true giant is there or not. As for us, we are asked questions and are interviewed every day. It is very easy to take a quote out of context and make it look like something different.

Remember, there are people that have never even touched the sea that are going to watch, and there are people that, like you guys, are ceph lovers that will be extra critical.

I can tell you the middle of the night we went down to about 120 ft. I really did find a 20ft open cave at the bottom of a cliff. I swam into it as far as I could. At the back of the cave was a hole about 2ft round, it went into the cliff like a tunnel. Even if a massive octo was not around, we were hoping to find a massive size GPO. The camera traps that did not find anything are actually a good way IMO to find out what is really down there. Divers in the water have a way of scaring the heck out of all the real cool stuff, and it often swims away before we ever see it. the cameras are a way to take thousands of pics without ever disturbing the area. It is my hope that on one of these trips where we are trying to find a "monster" that we find something else that is actually a true discovery. Sometimes in order to progress a certain goal you have to do things that may seem like you are selling out your integrity. When we get the calls for these shows we like to just have fun with them and hope that we can find a true discovery.

The way I look at it is, if there is going to be a show on tv about hunting for crypto beasts, than it might as well be in the seas.

The more people that watch and enjoy these shows, the more networks will budget money for the expeditions. Therefore the greater chance we will have of finding something that will truly blow away the scientific community.:goofysca:

With so much of the ocean un-explored, the chances of us finding a true discovery are much greater than the chances of really finding bigfoot, giant rats, or birdzilla. Researchers have said many times that there are still many animals in the sea yet to be discovered. I would submit that these types of programs are a vehicle to allow for more exploration of the ocean, and possibly could result in an un-expected discovery.

If we were to find a massive size animal undersea, than the end would truly justify the means. If this is the way to get funding for ocean exploration, than Ill take it.

At least I didnt barf on this one......:mrgreen:

As far as the squid episode, Im not allowed to discuss them in detail until they have aired. I can assure you though that the show will be equally entertaining.
Yeah, that all makes sense... I'm not sure if I'm happy or sad that the producers believe in the possibilities in an X-files the-truth-is-out-there sort of way; I guess that makes it less disingenuous, but it also seems to show that they're both wishing too hard, and not really wanting to teach the public all of the cool stuff that is known, because much of it is at odds with the romantic ideal of a 200 foot octopus... personally, I find the idea of filming a 40 foot Mesonychotethis in the wild more romantic, just because it's possible... does your chainmail go over drysuits? I'd still love to try one of your humboldt dives, but I think arctic Mesonychoteuthis filming might be best left to robotic subs... but the MonsterQuest people might stand a chance of finding a something that meets most criteria of being a real monster!

I agree 100% about the cameras. I'd also like to see more cameras that don't use a flash, and are either low-light cameras with dim illumination, or that just film bioluminescent stuff, or that use dim red or infrared light that most aquatic nocturnal animals don't see... maybe that are "smart" and trigger the flash occasionally when the low-light sensors notice something "interesting" (read as big and active, probably) to snap a picture before the shy beastie runs away.

I've often thought that the reason ROVs and such never see Architeuthis is that archie has such huge eyes that it can spot the ROV's lights from a quarter mile away, and is more inclined to swim away to avoid trouble than investigate. Researchers could learn from this by making very-large-aperture low-light cameras (the Astronomers already know how to do this really well) and make "designed for darkness" ROV modes. ROVs and AUVs also tend to be garish colors, probably because it makes it a lot easier to find them on the surface in stormy seas, but that probably also makes them visible from a long way off... favoring red over yellow or blue might make it less visible to abyssal critters in the dark, yet still be visible on the surface...

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