The Kraken vs. Mark Dery
Did you catch Mark Dery's profound feature on the first-ever footage of a giant squid at home in the deep?
Time and again, marauding cephalopods rise out of the fathomless depths of our collective unconscious, from the 12-armed Scylla in Homer’s Odyssey, plucking men from passing ships like canapés off a waiter’s tray, to Pliny’s foul-smelling “polyp,” whose stupefyingly bad breath “tormented the dogs,” to the beached “devil-fish” described in 1879 by the biologist Thomas Kirk. Quoting from an awestruck New Zealander who happened on the carcass, Kirk conjured a “repulsive-looking brute” with tentacles “as thick as a man’s leg,” “horrid goggle eyes,” and “a powerful beak,” reputed by the Maori natives to grab men and rip their insides out. (Duly chastened, the New Zealander vowed, “No more sea-bathing for me!”)The Kraken Wakes: What Architeuthis is Trying to Tell Us