This is a quiet news cycle in Kraken News
So what sparked off this surreal offensive? I personally blame Vladimir Putin. No, it wasn’t fake news. This really did happen. What I’m suggesting is that the Russian strongman, famed for wrestling bears with his tap aff, perhaps hurled a grizzly to the ground with such force that the entire planet was thrown off its axis. Maybe – just maybe – this seismic impact has woken the tentacle-faced guardian of Earth’s oceans – Cthulhu – from his million-year slumber. And this King Of The Deep was never a morning person.
A leviathan dominating the work of American author HP Lovecraft, it may be the case Cthulhu is actually real [Ed: yup!] and the end is nigh. Scientists themselves admitted this cephalopod invasion was very unusual, but dismissed it as the result of adverse weather conditions. Clearly hiding the truth from the public to avoid panic. The media, complicit in the conspiracy, also avoided asking the big question – why did Cthulhu send wee octopuses to destroy us all?
With the bold Cthulhu currently rallying the troops in preparation for more Normandy-esque invasions across the globe, they might soon be the only ones left. No longer will they be served alive in a Japanese risotto. I for one welcome our new cephalopod overlords. Maybe Cthulhu’s reign will be a benign dictatorship [Ed: yeah, nah!] and we’ll carry on much as before.
But wait, there are cannibal horrors too?
Blue Planet II’s recent second instalment wasted little time before introducing a particularly grisly cephalopod: the Humboldt squid (Dosidicus gigas, literally the giant red devil if you take its Spanish diablo rojo into account. Which you should.)
There’s a good chance a few of the several million watching BBC Two grabbed a cushion or loved one when the beak of the Humboldt squid attempted to engulf the camera lens, tentacles waggling ominously. But the nightmarish scene only worsened: at two metres long, these creatures are as long as a horizontal human man, and can weigh up to 50 kilos. “Like many squid,” Attenborough narrated, ominously, “they are voracious hunters”, needing to eat up to 10-15 times their body weight daily to survive.
The worst was yet to come as they “turned on each other”, releasing smoke screens of black ink. Not to hide their morally abhorrent ways from their peers, but so other squid didn’t come after their cannibalistic prey. It was enough to put one off calamari for at least a week.
I shall delve more into these abysmal creatures in the “Abyssal Gigantism” blog coming out soon.
And, as if highly-aggressive cannibal giant squid who hunt in packs and have razor-sharp hooks on their ten arms aren’t enough, there’s this octopus who first shoulder-taps its prey before devouring it. And it will also try to eat its mate during sexy times.
Not to mention this guy, who very chillingly and calmly, just drowned a fucking seagull to death!
But it’s not ALL horror news this week
There was also this lovely overview of why it’s not all horror, all the time, in Kraken News:
- Have we underestimated our cuddly octopuses, the closest to alien intelligence, after all? They do have so many amazing features.
- Newport Aquarium, in its “Ring of Fire” exhibition, will get a Giant Pacific Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) soon. Maybe not such good news for the octopus though…
- Clever scientists have figured out how to use one of the most astounding features of cephalopods (camouflage!) to create some stunning biomimicry.
- Octopus cooperate when they build cities: News from Octopolis and Octlantis.
- You can soon also find out what it’s like to be a cannibal deep sea monster.
- There is also this wonderfully-titled review of two new tentacle books: The Joys of Spinelessness. I immediately bought “Squid Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods.”
- And finally, as Sir David Attenborough so aptly pointed out on Blue Planet 2:
“Their timeless world is being reduced to rubble,” Sir David mourned. “Trawlers have started to ransack the deep. Countless numbers of the reef that have flourished for millennia lie in ruins.”
Among all the murderous creatures of the deep then, it is man who may stand out as the most monstrous.