Thursday, June 14, 2007

The inky and unpredictable Humboldt squid

This story is so appealing that I think I will just have to paste in the entire text (something about the diction makes me think it must have secretly been phoned in by Toni Schlesinger!):

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. -- The inky and unpredictable Humboldt Squid is back in big numbers in the coastal waters of California.

The sizable cephalopods, which can weigh 30 pounds or more, appear and disappear off the coast with no predictable pattern.

They last showed up in significant numbers two and a half years ago, when they swarmed up and down the California coast by the thousands, with hundreds washing up on beaches.

"We used to associate them with warm water," said Norris Tapp of Davey's Locker Sportfishing. "But now we're seeing them when the ocean is cold."

Many sport fishermen love struggling against the squirting, squirming beasts.

"It's out of control. They're squirting ink and water when they're brought aboard, and they're flashing their colors," said Chris Fowler, who works with Tapp.

Tapp said the fish are a handful when hooked, but it's not hard finding bait to make them bite.

"They'll eat about anything -- other squid, sardines, even sculpin," he said. "Open up one of these squid, and you'll find lots of fish eyes. It's weird."

(Thanks to Nico for the link.)

In other news, I have been uncharacteristically paralyzed by work-related stress this week, and will spend the rest of the morning indulging in what I hope will be therapeutic blogging with the goal of dispelling the feeling of constriction in the chest area that afflicts me at such times! Thinking about giant squid is certainly soothing, though...


  1. Tapp said the fish are a handful when hooked, but it's not hard finding bait to make them bite.

    Squid are not fish! Though I guess if Melville could call a whale a fish, fish can be taken as a generic term for everything that swims in the sea?

    And the meter of the phrase would have been thrown off by "cephalopod" though.

    This is Ulysses, by the way. We were in Adams House together. I enjoy your blog.

  2. Hi, Ulysses! So nice to hear from you!

    It seems clear to me that the author's article was carried away by alliteration and rhythm at the expense of accuracy, eh?!? Squids are SO not fish! Almost biblical to call them that, the way Leviathan's a fish, you're quite right!