Giant Squid Makes Film Debut

Yes, Memoranda brings you all the important news. Scientists from Japan’s National Science Museum have filmed the giant squid in its natural habitat for the first time, in the dark depths of the Pacific Ocean. Scientist Tsunemi Kubodera described the creature as “shining and so beautiful”, and estimated it would have been eight metres long if it hadn’t been missing its two longest arms.

By an amazing coincidence (well, not all that amazing, considering my interest in giant squid), I was only yesterday reading about Pierre Dénys de Montfort, the French naturalist whose claims about a “colossal octopus” that attacked ships were dismissed by his peers as sensationalist nonsense. Poor Pierre! Well, okay, maybe some of his illustrations were slightly exaggerated . . .

Pierre Denys de Montfort's 'Colossal Octopus' 1810
Pierre Dénys de Montfort’s ‘Colossal Octopus’ attacks a merchant ship, 1810

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