Attacks of the Kraken

Today is Cephalopod Awareness Day. Jason at Cephalopodcast asks us to “embrace your inner octopus and let the world know what we think of our tentacled friends.”

At the moment, Craig is in the running for a spot on a documentary series about the deep-sea. He is one of five finalists on the casting couch in Boston today, so I am taking the opportunity to revive an old post documenting known attacks of the Kraken. As you will see below, I don’t think of squid as “friends”. Quite the contrary…

krakengigante.jpgThese are turbulent times. Lately, an awesome sea rides in on violent storms ravaging Gulf coasts and Indian coasts, destroying cities, bringing marine life up on land. These are important developments in the ocean climate. Our homeland security may depend on our ability to defend ourselves from these encroaching dangers.

Those of us that have witnessed first hand the bony sawtoothed tentacles of the colossal squid, and have learned of its medieval club shaped appendage, agree that sea monsters really do exist, and we must begin to take precautions. Perhaps we can set aside centuries-old and troubled quests for oil and religion, and focus now on the real and most dangerous enemy lurking below- the Kraken.

Below is a short list of the known and documented attacks from The Book of Sea Monsters by Bob Eggleton and Nigel Suckling. Beware the giant squid my friends!

1930. Royal Norwegian Navy vessel Brunswick between Hawaii and Samoa overtaken by 9m squid, which rammed the 150m hull, grappled the steel hull, then slithered into the stern to be turned to mincemeat by their propellers.

1965. Crew of the Soviet whaler Mirny– Giant squid attacks 40 ton sperm whale, neither survive. The whale is strangled, the squid’s head is bitten off.

1991. Alex Kirstich, cameraman. Attacked while filming a “human-sized” squid (Dosidicus sp.?) off the coast of California. Three of the squid drag Alex to the depths as he struggles, then change their mind for no apparent reason and release him.

Peter Etnoyer (397 Posts)

PhD candidate at Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi and doctoral fellow Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies.


8 Replies to “Attacks of the Kraken”

  1. You guys really out to double-check your facts. Alex Kerstitch was attacked by a Dosidicus or something similar to a Humboldt Squid and NOT a Vampyroteuthis infernalis. Have you ever SEEN a Vampyrotheuthis?? Barely big enough to fit into a bucket and barely strong enough to survive being HIT by a diver much less attack one.

    Honestly. you guys really have to double-check your geekness.

  2. 2005. Charter shrimp boat off Edisto Island, South Carolina. Vacationer “HP” is brutally attacked by a 90mm squid which was brought aboard the vessel. He suffered a 2mm circular bite to his left index finger, which went into the dermis and bled “quite a bit.” He also received ink stains over 5% of his brand new t-shirt.

    The squid was retrieved, and was later sauted in melted butter and eaten on a slice of crusty bread.

  3. correcting incorrect facts isn’t “bottomdwelling”. Facts is facts and misleading people with misinformation is contrary to everything science stands for.

  4. Bah, the tentacle team is slacking. I know the lead that the sharks have is pretty overwhleming at this point, but with some good hard work they have a chance at catching up with the orcas.

Comments are closed.