But those same landlubbers are often surprised when I tell them that my greatest fear concerns sea monsters. Anyone who goes to sea knows that you should be more afraid of tentacles than jaws. Sharks are well known and understood. They’re a visible threat with known consequences. It’s the mysterious giant squid that puts the fear of god into honest seafarers.
David Attenborough, the famous adventurer and biologist, says in Life on Earth: “Squids grow to an immense size. In 1933, in New Zealand, one was recorded that was 69 feet long, with eyes nearly 16 inches across, the largest known eyes in the animal kingdom.”
Even so, we haven’t yet discovered the biggest squids because they are extremely intelligent and difficult to catch, Attenborough says.
He concludes that it’s by no means impossible that the kraken and other legendary sea monsters that are said to be able to rise from the deep and wrap ships in their tentacles, really do exist.
Meanwhile, next time you’re out at sea and you catch a squid on a trailing line, take care. Michael Greenwald, an author and yachtsman, caught one of about 30 pounds in mid-Atlantic. It squirted him in the face with a powerful acid and tried to drag him overboard. By the time he had struggled free, and washed his face, the acid had eaten holes in his woolen sweater.
Jaws might be a good name for a horror movie but tentacles are much more frightening.
Today’s ThoughtThe mind which knows how to fear, knows how to go safely.
— Publilius Syrus, Sententiæ
Tailpiece“Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup.”
(28)“Don’t worry, sir, he can’t possibly drink it all.”
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