Look! He’s been plastinated and hung in a Paris museum!
OK, that’s not so bad — if anyone wants to plastinate me after I’m dead and string me up from the rafters, I won’t mind. This next bit, though, is going too far: people are laughing at the giant squid’s embarrassing little sexual accidents. Seriously, everyone looks ridiculous during sex and it’s not unusual to have the occasional slip up … and we bipedal mammals can screw up in even more embarrassing ways. And to add ignorance to insult, the squid article even gets it wrong.
But males get round their inferior size by being endowed with a particularly long penis, which means they can inject the female without having to get too close to her chomping beak. The male’s sexual organ is actually a bit like a high-pressure fire hose and is normally nearly as long as his body – excluding legs and head.
But having such a big penis does have one drawback: it seems that co-ordinating eight legs, two feeding tentacles and a huge penis, whilst fending off an irate female, is a bit too much to ask, and one of the two males stranded on the Spanish coast had accidentally injected himself with sperm packages in the legs and body.
Foolish vertebrates. The squid doesn’t have a penis. One of his ten arms, called the hectocotyl arm, is specially modified to insert sperm packets. Besides, all this really tells us is that squid have much better, much wilder orgies than we do. They aren’t uncoordinated, they’re just passionate.