From the Jules Verne classic 20,00 Leagues Under the Sea came a film with Kirk Douglas and a memorable Giant Squid. (Disney will probably sue if I embed a pirated trailer. See the official one here. It has the Giant Squid in it.)
Until very recently, no one could prove that such a thing as a Giant Squid even existed. I have seen renderings of what sailors might really have seen when they described a Giant Squid: for example, a whale with an octopus wrapped around it. And I just learned that the mythological Kraken may be the result of people seeing a Giant Squid and thinking it was a supernatural monster. (Oh, surely not the gentle Kraken of The Island of the Aunts!)
Here’s what made my day: the wonder and delight in the voice of the woman videotaping the first Giant Squid ever caught on camera, a creature that hangs out in the deep sea off Chichi island, Japan, where expeditions going down 3,000 feet have sought him for years.
You can hear Tom Ashbrook’s guests talk about this triumph at WBUR’s OnPoint program.
They are Richard Ellis, author of “The Search For The Giant Squid: The Biology and Mythology of the World’s Most Elusive Sea Creature,” and Edie Widder, the president and senior scientist at the Ocean Research and Conservation Association who filmed the Giant Squid.
“For thousands of years, sailors have told stories of giant squids. In myth and cinema, the kraken was the most terrible of sea monsters. Now, it’s been captured — on a soon-to-be-seen video.
From National Public Radio: “Even after decades of searching, giant squids had only been seen in still photographs. Finally, in last July, scientists filmed the first video of a live giant squid swimming some 2,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.
“Edie Widder is the ocean researcher who shot the footage, which is slated to be released in a Discovery Channel documentary later this month.
“She told Jacki Lyden, host of weekends on All Things Considered, the elusive creature could have been as much as 30 feet long” More.
(I am spatially challenged and embarrassed to admit how many decades it took me to figure out that Captain Nemo traveled in his Nautilus 20,000 leagues horizontally, not straight down.)
Photograph: Edie Widder/Discovery Channel
A giant squid stars in this still image taken from the first-ever video of giant squids.