1. says

    This was great…not so much in regards to the squid itself, but it demonstrated the various directions we can approach a problem from.

    It was a great display of science in action.

  2. True Bob says

    Marco, I thought that was already done at least once.

    Very interesting footage. I’d like to see what the range of size estimates is, because 60 feet is pretty damn huge, and I’d have to assume they’d use other more conservative analogies* to size the Beast From Below.

    *i.e. other proportions than the Humboldt.

  3. LostInAsia says

    Layman seeking a squid expert: could someone break down or comment on the science/ size estimates/ assumptions for us? I tend to mistrust a lot of the TV show science, just because they’re so… excited.

    Fantastic video.

  4. says

    That’s quite ingenious, what they did
    To photograph my Uncle Sid;
    Like many other giant squid,
    He’s shy, and so of course he hid
    (No ego, him–he’s mostly id)
    But though the inky depths forbid
    They put a camera on his kid–
    A thousand meters, down he slid
    To make this photographic bid
    And I would bet a hundred quid
    That if he hasn’t gotten rid
    Of it, he’s still there on the grid.

  5. Niobe says

    The video is awesome but my neurotic side is still annoyed at the diver mixing his hand signals at 1:27.

  6. David Marjanović, OM says

    A thousand meters

    Three hundred meters. 1000 feet is what the video says several times.

  7. David Marjanović, OM says

    A thousand meters

    Three hundred meters. 1000 feet is what the video says several times.

  8. david says

    Three hundred meters. 1000 feet is what the video says several times.

    Yes, and meter is exactly why “meters” is used instead of feet. Which, btw, this poem also has in it.

  9. Ian says

    I find it hard to tell how far that squid is from the camera. With that in mind, how can they possibly know how large it is?

  10. Fernando says

    Without perspective is impossible to stimate the real size.

    I liked one of youtube’s comments: I wish they find bigfoot soon. Ha!

  11. Siamang says

    They base the distance on three things: light throw, lens length and depth of field.

    It’s not exact, but it tells them they aren’t looking at a small squid close up. If that really is the eye reflection, that beast is huge… that’s a wide angle lens!

  12. A farinosa says

    Without a standard point of reference in the frame, (another positively ID’d species like a Humboldt squid or other critter interacting with the subject), or some sort of additional range finding mechanism to provide distance data, any sort of measurement attempt is prone to gross error. Remember the “camel spider” photo from Iraq? Otherwise, it’s impressive behavioral footage of an unidentified fearsome object (UFO).

  13. Thanny says

    They are grossly overestimating the size of that squid. There’s no way it has arms a foot and a half in diameter.

  14. Venger says

    I remember watching the episode in question when it aired and they were pretty wired about that estimate. I forget exactly how big they concluded if the squid is not a Humbolt, but its like half again to double as long.

    But the only thing they really have to go by for scale is an estimate of how far the light travels at 1000ft in those water conditions. Most of the other episodes dealing with video make a big deal about how lacking a reference makes things look bigger than they often are.

    The Monster Quest shows are usually good for a laugh, most of the time they end up debunking stories, finding no evidence and generally suggesting things are more in the mind, but they refuse to go all out and be definitive. They did an episode about rods which pretty much nuked the entire concept as an artifact of modern video camera design, but refused to close the door entirely to the possibility. Most of the episodes have dealt with one variation of bigfoot or another.

  15. Lago says

    I have this episode and I admit, this did look like a live film of a giant squid. It looked like one and moved like one according to the other sequenced pictures we have of a giant squid. Despite this, the size they claimed for it seemed a bit crazy.

  16. Mel says

    If the camera cannot capture enough detail why was it used to begin with? Shouldn’t they choose a camera with enough resolution for the lighting setup? Why go to all the trouble to get poor images with no scientific value? They didn’t say how confident they were in their estimates of the lighting throw. All other measurements would seem to depend upon that.

  17. says

    i felt sorry for the squid.

    this would be a good place to plug one of my favorite sf books, A Door Into Ocean (Campbell award winner), by Joan Slonczewski. Takes place on an ocean planet where cephalopods (including some big ‘uns!) dominate many of the ecological niches. Humans live on naturally created rafts.

    Lots of tentacular goodness.


  18. October Mermaid says

    That is awesome. I love Monster Quest, even though it focuses on things like bigfoot too often for my liking. I especially liked their episode about giant catfish.

  19. Sparky says

    Re: #21
    But it did have scientific merit. They found a number of interesting things (least from the little I can glean out of this video, entirely out of context.)

    They managed to observe the curiosity in the squid down below, which as they claim (and I cannot substantiate not being a cephalopod expert). They found something that may indeed be a giant squid. Really quite an accomplishment since as far as I was aware we’d yet to find a live specimen.

    While I also have a hard time believing those estimates, and I suspect they were grossly over-exaggerate the size (come on, no way it has arms 18″ in diameter) I wouldn’t be surprised if you could use just the lenses focal length + the distance that light will travel at those depths + the intensity of the light source to computer the size of an object. I’d have to grab my slide rule, but I’m pretty sure I can do it. After that though it would be conjecture based upon rough known proportions.

    Still, as a proof of concept it’s a great start!

  20. Fernando Magyar says

    I wouldn’t be surprised if you could use just the lenses focal length + the distance that light will travel at those depths + the intensity of the light source to computer the size of an object.

    I would assume that the turbidity of the water at depth would also be a factor in determining how far the light would travel.
    I know that one can use a Secchi disk to estimate turbidity from the surface given that one has a reasonably acurate reading of water collumn depth by measuring the cable length that is played out. By what mechanism does one estimate turbidity at depth, which can vary dramatically from that in the upper 100 meters, if one does not know the distance to a reflective surface from the light source?

  21. says

    I love stories of giant squid… came from reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea when I was in fourth grade, I guess. Anyway, no matter if their 60-foot estimate is correct or not, that’s still a pretty damn big squid! The scientists’ excitement at seeing it was awesome. Also, seeing how curious squid are is neat, too.

  22. tus says

    why didnt they just attach a radar or sonar setup to the squid, they would have gotten better feedback than that camera (if not more sensational feedback)

    but i must say the squids checking out the camera interested me the most, and how they seem to communicate with flashing skin.

    i must admit some ignorance of cephalopods so this is quite fascinating to me. i had heard they are quite intelegent i wonder though…how intelegent.

    they arent tool makers like we, they have never had need of tools id imagine, if a squid made a spear it wouldnt be very useful underwater..nor throwing rocks or anything of the sort, water seems an impediment to tool making.
    but tool making is in no way a guage of intelegence (it has done us quite well mind you, im using one right now ^_^) im curious of how well they can communicate with their flashing (a very good adapatation to aquatic life i may add…do any non-mamals underwater make noise? can they?) wonder if they have anything resymboling a language.

    they seem curious…thats interesting in itself…and they dont mind another squid crawling over them to see whats on their back..seems some level of group trust.