GIANT SQUID AS SEA SERPENT?

Discussion in 'Diving & Ceph Encounters' started by Rob Romero, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. Rob Romero

    Rob Romero Blue Ring Registered

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    As early as 1883 Henry Lee published ‘Sea Monsters Unmasked’ an article positing a link between various sightings of Sea Serpents and the Giant Squid –since then, others (notably Richard Ellis in ‘Monsters of the Deep’) have furthered this notion.

    http://www.lochnessinvestigation.org/Kraken.html

    Several particular sightings have been cited in support of this, Notably:

    1734 Reverend Hans Edge’s description of an Atlantic Ocean encounter

    1848 HMS Daedulus encounter

    1848 HMS Plumper encounter

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Serpent

    1905 British Naturalists Michael J. Nicoll and E. G. B. Meade-Waldo observed a "sea monster" while sailing off Brazil in the yacht Valhalla.

    http://www.strangemag.com/definitiveseaserpent.html

    1947 Ocean Liner Santa Clara runs down and injures a ‘Sea Monster’ perhaps fatally.

    http://www.leaderherald.com/millennium/19401949/monster.html

    However in view of the recent photos of live and recently dead giant squid in the ocean is it really reasonable to believe that Giant Squid could be mistaken for sea serpents. Particularly, why would a giant squid indefinitily SUSPEND a tentacle in mid air for the benefit of the 1905 Valhalla naturalists or 1947’s Santa Clara while dying. Why would an architeuthis swim with its tail above water as has been suggested for the 1734 sighting of Rev. Hans Edge, or the 1848 HMS Daedalus and Plumper sightings. In fact it was posited by Ellis that the GIANT SQUID SWAM ON IT'S SIDE SO THAT ITS CAUDAL FIN WOULD PRODUCE THE STIFF 6 FT. LONG AND 2 FT. TALL FIN THAT WAS OBSERVED WHILE ITS TENTACLE WAS SUSPENDED ABOVE THE WATER ('CATCHIN THE BREEZE') ! LOl!!!

    Thanks,

    Rob Romero
     
  2. cthulhu77

    cthulhu77 Titanites Supporter

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    People see a lot of funny things in the ocean...I am sure that the squids have played their part in the whole "sea monster" thing, but some of the sightings have been in freshwater, which is not currently occupied by squid or octopus species.

    Every year we find new animals around us...of course, I am a Cthulhuist.
     
  3. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    Welcome Rob! :welcome:

    Clem will be by here shortly I am sure. :smile: --- he's taken a look or two at this. That was one of my favorite chapters in Ellis' book. I think it's a very interesting and plausible scenario that dying squid would be flailing about... a lot can get lost in translation as well... I would agree that a suspended tentacle doesn't make a whole lot of sense when considering squid behavior.....
     
  4. Clem

    Clem Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    Ohhhh, it's a good thing it's the weekend...

    Rob, your post and the Octobot's thread about the 1980 Plum Island, Massachusets Architeuthis suggest that now's a good time to revisit this issue and ask some questions. It's dinnertime now, but I promise to come back with some good stuff.

    Cheers,
    Clem
     
  5. cthulhu77

    cthulhu77 Titanites Supporter

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    :roll: I suppose they ate all the people on Roanoke too?
     
  6. erich orser

    erich orser Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    I've long been curious about the possibility that a number of "maned" serpent sightings could have been dying oarfish at the surface, but the squid theory is quite reasonable. As for lake monsters, I just really hope that if there's any truth to them at all that they turn out to be huge flatworms.
     
  7. OB

    OB Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Giant aquatic snails, I reckon... Molluscs after all!
     
  8. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    It's amazing what you can extrapolate from strange things on water it can be very deceptive. A case in point is the famous "Surgeons Photo" of the Loch Ness Monster. Generally when it is published it looks like a very large something out in the water BUT the picture is usually cropped and enlarged, When you see the whole picture, it's obviously much smaller (from the size of the wavelets) and in 1994 was revealed to be a hoax (http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/nessie.html) both the copped and uncropped pics are on this site http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/lochness/legend3.html

    J
     
  9. myopsida

    myopsida Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Eel larvae (known as leptocephali) grow to 10-15 cm in length, then metamorph into adults eels 100-150cm in length. There is however one leptocephalus for which the adult is unknown. "Leptocephalus giganteus" reaches 200cm as a larvae. Assuming a similar larval/adult size ratio as for other anguillids, the adult eel could attain reasonable size and account for "sea serpent" sightings. An eel this size would be extremely difficult to capture . . . . . . .
     
  10. Cairnos

    Cairnos O. vulgaris Registered

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    Because giant squid enjoy a joke as much as anyone :smile:
     
  11. Clem

    Clem Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    Hi Rob,

    I do accept that quite a few famous sea-serpent sightings were probably observations of large squid, probably in distress at the surface. It is time to retire the giant squid as the default suspect, as there are other big squid that could present the necessary appearance. Speculating about it is fun, and I do think it's best done with an awareness that other explanations can be just as interesting, even the non-teuthid sort. I used to see Architeuthis everywhere. I got help.

    Here's an old story from the front lines of this debate. I've read about it before, in one of Richard Ellis's books probably, but this piece of Americana (1879) really warrants posting in full.

    Here's the source page,. The illustration is great. There's a few letters of an illegible signature visible at the extreme lower left. Maybe Dan Beard illustrated his own essay? According to biographical notes, he trained as an engineer in school before moving to New York and taking art classes. He was really quite an interesting fellow. After his art studies he went into publishing, launched a series of periodicals for boys and eventually created the Boy Scouts of America. Attached is a photo of Beard late in life, demonstrating his hatchet-throwing technique.

    In 1879, he'd of been 29 years young and just beginning to get into publishing, so the SA piece would have been an happy occasion, and for 1879 Beard does display a well-informed sensibility. Sandy Hook, New Jersey is not too far south of the City (see a Google map here). Beard's presentation is pretty sound, but he seems not to know if it's octopus or squid he's taking about. The notion that a squid's tail and fins could resemble a head hasn't occurred to him. I don't know what those beach rescue fellows saw, but giant squid or octopus doesn't really sound right, especially not with a two-foot long projection sticking up out of the water. (A giant cephalopod's siphon would be below the water; in any case, above the water it probably couldn't be held sufficiently rigid to stick up as described.) My guess would be the villainous oarfish, or else those guys did what off-hours lifeguards have done since time immemorial: got loaded, and then mistook a buoy for a monster.

    On the matter of how a squid's tail could look like a head, specifically the "horse" profile so often described in nineteenth-century serpent accounts, I did a photo-illustration to illustrate it, using a photo of Architeuthis(?) at the surface as a starting-point. It shall win no awards. But, if the tail were slightly elevated and if the fins were hanging down like laps, then I can see how that horsie thing might have got started, unless it was always just a euphemism for "huge penis-looking thing."

    The Sandy Hook story led me to something else, which I'll post next time. It might suggest a non-animal culprit for a famous Bishop Pontoppidan account, claimed by some as an Architeuthis sighting.

    Cheers,
    Clem
     

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  12. Rob Romero

    Rob Romero Blue Ring Registered

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    Hello Clem

    I dunno. First of all the sightings I’m referring to predominantly, refer to heads and necks being suspended in mid-air –I’m not buyin that for large squid. Secondly, why would a squid put its tail out of the water long enough to create the impression that it’s a head (i.e., the 1848 Daedalus and Plumper sightings). Thirdly, in the 1905 Valhalla incident, we had trained naturalists with binocualars making the observation –Ellis is really stretching that one with the squid sailing along sideways so that its fin is creating a stiff 6’ by 2’ impression –not to mention the suspended head and neck! Also, we’ve now got a number of photos of live or recently dead squid at the surface and they all have a distinctive bright red hue about them –definitely not brown or dark. I’m not buyin the drunken argument either –hey I’ve had a few benders, but never seen anything weird –um let me rephrase that- unexplainable. Hoaxes would be much more plausible explanation to me than intoxication -and even then I still feel that some of these encounters are difficult to explain away.
    Thanks,

    Rob
     
  13. OB

    OB Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Hello Ho(a)rsie!
     
  14. Rob Romero

    Rob Romero Blue Ring Registered

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    Sorry no Sale.

    Not buyin the Oarfish argument either for suspended head and necks. Oarfish -large and weird, but definitely not a dark brown monster.

    Rob
     
  15. cephalopodcast

    cephalopodcast O. bimaculoides Registered

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  16. Clem

    Clem Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    Actually, the captain of the boat that recovered the latest Mesonychoteuthis specimen described his first view of the squid as a big brown shape. The current crop of pics of Architeuthis at the surface were taken in conditions of bright daylight against an intense blue ocean background, which tend to emphasize red and orange hues. There are plenty of tricks that can be played on the eye vis color, so the paucity of descriptions of "bright red hue[d]" serpents shouldn't be taken as an argument against a squid ID.

    Cheers,
    Adam
     
  17. Rob Romero

    Rob Romero Blue Ring Registered

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    Sea Serpents?

    Ob –wow a 56ft. specimen washed up on shore in 1808 –a fish like that would certainly account for some of the serpent sightings.

    Celephapodcast –great -um- ‘money’ shot. And you do what recreationally? ;)
    But seriously, the ‘neck’ of the aroused whale is behind the body and oriented backwards from the direction travel. Moreover, I assume the whale would roll over to normal position to breathe relatively quickly. I also assume there would be a normally oriented female and breathing whale in the vicinity. I’ve seen video of two erect male whales courting a female (humpback?) –nothing that could be mistaken for a sea serpent.


    Clem you wrote that
    -the Colossal was first seen underwater as it was being pulled up on the line –photos of it on the surface –which is where we get all descriptive accounts of sea serpents- show it to be distinctively red. Secondly, that still doesn’t explain the suspended head and neck.

    Rob
     
  18. erich orser

    erich orser Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    My intrusion of the oarfish in all this is due to the "maned" descriptions. A dying oarfish - lying on it's side and thrashing up and down at the surface, as many fish do while in the process of dying - is my sole reason for including this. The eyewitness descriptions of sea serpents holding their heads out of the water for ten, fiften, twenty minutes at a time would obviously not apply to this. If these eyewitness descriptions are accurate, then I have no idea what was seen.
     
  19. Clem

    Clem Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    Hi Rob,

    Depends on which picture you're lookin' at.

    Clem
     

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  20. GPO87

    GPO87 Sepia elegans Staff Member Moderator

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    I picked up a book in Chapters about this topic. And it had all this evidence to prove that sea serpents are actually cephs... I should have bought it. (I actually didn't read the longer posts) but I think some of these arguements have the possiblity to be valid... SOME!
    BTW, love the oarfish pictures!
     

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