Wednesday, October 8, 2008

MONSTERQUEST: Giant Squid Ambush

History Channel - Original Air Date: 10/8/08

Previously, in 2006, MQ went out looking for colossal squid in the Sea of Cortez -- they found something experts thought could be what they were looking for.  Now, the team returns for another go.  Last time, they mounted a camera on a Humbolt squid and caught a tantalizing glimpse of another squid, deep in the ocean, estimated at upwards of 60' in length.  Was it a massive Humbolt or something else?  They're going back with better lights on their camera as well as a laser measuring system.  Divers will be going amid the ravenous Humbolt's again,with a special safety vest to pull them out should the squids try to drag them down.  (Humbolts can be as large as a man.)  The crew believes that their big advantage this time is the experience they gained during the last hunt.  One scientist shows fascinating high-speed photos of smaller squid shooting out tentacles to attack their prey.  Legends have giants and even Humbolts attacking and killing humans. How much danger is the team in?  The first small squid they catch is attacked and killed by larger squid before they can reel the subject in.

The next squid they catch -- a 4 1/2 footer --  turns on the diver once the camera is attached to it.  Unfortunately, the squid goes down into the deep so fast it breaks their camera rig.  They replace the camera with a backup and try again.  The next squid they catch is too small, and the one after that turns on them again.  But they managed to attach the camera and send the squid into the deep.  But the other squid seem to fear the new laser set-up, and when the team tries to detach the laser, the squid attacks again.  With the lasers gone, the squids return in droves.  After four days, the crew has a lot of film to review, but though they have some great squid attack footage, this time, they have no giants.  The skin of their "Trojan squid," though, shows signs of attack by a large squid with inch-wide suction cups.  Tantalizing, but not proof.  Again, this MQ show suffers from the short duration of the expedition, and I have to wonder what they might find with more funding and a longer quest.

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