25 March 2007

Want some calamari?

The person in the picture above is Captain John Bennett, a lucky sailor who caught himself some squid (partly in the picture as well). This puppy weighs 495 kilograms, making it the largest ever caught.

But it won't get any bigger because it's already dead cold. And scientists can't figure out how to defrost it. Squid expert Steve O'Shea, who will be studying the creature, said it was weighed last week while it was still frozen in a large container.
At this stage our squid expert said (probably in the throes of scientific excitement) something that was totally unexpected:
Dr O'Shea said the colossal squid was priceless to scientists, and would be worth many millions of dollars if it were insured.
I am not sure that it is an accepted practice amongst the squid community to apply for insurance. On the other hand, with inventiveness and eagerness of some insurance companies, it may be not totally out of question.

After all, Captain Bennet was not so lucky. The boffins got wind of the catch, and promptly sequestered the beast for their own nefarious ends.
The squid is being housed in the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington. Meanwhile, the scientists have yet to decide how best to thaw out the animal, which was frozen into a container soon after it was captured.
I would say, piece by piece, according to the size of a party they want to throw at any specific evening. One can only envy the eggheads: half a ton of prime squid will keep their parties going for a good few years.