Octopus on the pipeline

Article: Outside on Humboldt squid

The Humboldt (or jumbo) squid is a giant (can be over 1.5 metres long), extremely intelligent, ruthless predator that will not hesitate to engage in cannibalistic behaviour. They are named after the Humboldt Current that flows along the west coast of South America. They exist in huge numbers, can swim at up to 24 kilometres per hour – which is very fast in the water – and move about in large shoals. Their skin colour can change rapidly from white to red and back again, and while they prefer deep (over 200 metres) water, they are found in shallower waters too, particularly at night.

Tim Zimmermann wrote an article for Outside about the slightly lunatic (but awesome) sounding Scott Cassell and his work photographing and diving with Humboldt squid in the Sea of Cortez. Cassell is a number of things Рcounterterrorist specialist, professional trapeze artist, and experienced diver. He has done some cool stuff  and is a character well worth reading about.

Humboldt squid have been aggressive (or boisterous, if you don’t want to anthropomorphise) towards divers, so various precautions are taken when getting in the water with them. Among these are safety lines clipped to the boat so that divers cannot be dragged deeper by a squid pile-on, and the use of fibreglass body armour to protect against the clinging tentacles of the squid. It sounds absolutely thrilling.

Read the full article here.

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Clare

Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

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