3 Lessons We Could Learn from the Giant Squid Discovery

Posted by: Eddie Duncan Shackleford on May 8th, 2013

Earlier this year, Discovery Channel debuted the first-ever video footage of a giant squid found in its natural habitat in the special titled Monster Squid: The Giant is Real. You can check out a preview clip Cryptomundo posted back in January.

Edith Widder, one of the researchers on the squid discovery team, had a TED talk not long ago in which she shed some light on the discovery of the once-mythical creature and the strategy and techniques used to lure, and ultimately film it.

There are a few lessons that stuck out in her discussion that all cryptozoologists and creature enthusiasts should consider if they really want to discover a legendary cryptid.

1) Stick to an area

One of the most frustrating things about shows like Finding Bigfoot is that they cover so much ground. They have ventured all over North America and even had international investigations in Indonesia and Australia. While it’s great getting to see all the different pieces of evidence from all over the world, they aren’t spending enough time in one place. Bigfoot, like the giant squid, isn’t going to expose himself willingly.

What investigators should do is hunker down and stick to one geographic area for a seriously significant amount of time. If Bigfoot’s like any other animal, with the exception of migratory ones, an individual of the species will live in a relatively confined area of a few hundred miles or so. That’s much less than what the giant squid discoverers had to work with. They got something because they found an area with evidence and stayed there.

2) If the technology isn’t there, develop it

Widder also pointed out that one of the issues with deep sea squid hunts of yesteryear was technology—not that it wasn’t good enough, but that the underwater equipment was too bright and too loud. This would alert deep sea creatures of the presence of the equipment and, as a result, scare them away. So instead of taking the expensive, flashy equipment down, Widder used a much simpler camera system that didn’t make sound at all. She had to adapt the technology that was most enticing for the animal in its environment.

What’s more, her team developed a faint light system that could duplicate the bioluminescence of the Atolla jellyfish, thought to attract giant squid. After countless other designs and experiments failed, the bioluminescence rig was a success, and that’s how they caught their footage.

The likelihood of creature-seekers getting conclusive evidence by being at the right place at the right time with a video recorder or camera is minimal. We need to develop the technology that is best suited for the creature in its environment, even if that means taking something complex and making it much simpler. And we need to use technology that will actually lure the creature to it, not scare it away. Cameras with heat signature detection and night vision may not cut it. We need to be innovative.

3) Never give up

Despite decades of naysayers putting down research attempts and claiming funds were being wasted, the giant squid teams simply kept at it. In the end, their persistence paid off. This lesson certainly comes easier to some than it does others. But anyone passionate enough already has this philosophy instinctively in stow. Keep that passion alive and you are sure to be lead down the right path to the truth.

The discovery of the giant squid lends hope to those who would see other great beasts conclusively proven to exist—Bigfoot, Nessie, you name it. If the great Kraken of stories long ago turned out to be real, just imagine what other discoveries are yearning to be found. Keep these 3 lessons in mind, and you might be the one to do just that.

Happy searching!

About Eddie Duncan Shackleford
Eddie Duncan Shackleford is a Senior Editor for Direct2TV and loves to research and write topics on Cryptozoology, entertainment, sports and more. Bigfoot is one of his favorite topics to talk about as it is arguably one of the most controversial mythical creatures that has ever lived.

6 Responses to “3 Lessons We Could Learn from the Giant Squid Discovery”

  1. dconstrukt responds:

    giant squid discovery, i think, is a bit different than saying there’s sea serpents/lake monsters and bigfoots.

    its a sub species of an animal we all know about.

    not an entirely new species… or something that shouldn’t exist.

  2. Evso Rivers via Facebook responds:

    So true they need to get there early forget the camera traps game cameras give of a sound like you would hear in the day of tube t.v.and the sound waves used to trigger the camera can be felt.also no smoking I know so many squatchers who pace and chain smoke.cover scents and find a spot and sit and wait. But unless funds can be obtained the tech wont be there.

  3. cryptokellie responds:

    There is one major difference here;
    Giant Squid carcasses have been washing up for a century or more so we know that there actually IS a Giant Squid to look for. If no GS carcass had ever been found on a beach somewhere, they wouldn’t be actively looking for it either…can you see the reality show “Finding Bigsquid”. The trackers would be making plaster casts of the sucker scars on Sperm Whale heads and out in a rubber dinghy call blasting squid sounds – vooooosh – vooooosh. I have caught small squids and when you land them they go voosh and then squirt ink at you. Honestly…it’s true.

  4. DWA responds:


    There’s really no reason that bigfoot and giant squid – other than the obvious differences – are really different at all.

    This is a great post, because it lays out what’s been lacking: geographic focus; technology advances; and time. In fact, the two stories are almost exact parallels – right down to all the evidence that’s been on view, for both, for a long time. The deep ocean just seems “more logical” to scientists – who never seem to pause to think about how one confirms something that no one believes when you say you saw one – and so they reject it out of hand, without even looking at the evidence.

    Geographic focus; technology advances; and time. They all finally got there for the giant squid, which if it weren’t for evidence scientists took seriously would be an “isn’t supposed to exist.”

    This is actually one of the best analogies I have seen – an almost precisely exact one – between “animals we’ve found” and “cryptids we haven’t.”

  5. dconstrukt responds:

    DWA…. usually i’m agreeing with ya… but this? nah.

    read the post above by:cryptokellie

    he NAILED it.

  6. DWA responds:


    cryptokellie did indeed get this right:

    Carcasses of squid have shown up…and have gotten from the finders into the hands of people qualified to deal with them.

    With sasquatch, we for sure haven’t had this sort of luck. But one thing I’ve learned is that evidence must be explained, one way or another, and that explanation must be backed up by its own evidence. Until somebody gives me evidence that satisfies me that sasquatch is some sort of mass cultural delusion, I can’t be too worried about a lack of carcasses.

    We’ve got to get documentation from scientists looking for a live one. And for my money, the pattern of evidence for sasquatch is a pretty powerful assertion that scientists should, at the very least, hold themselves to considering it an intriguing possibility; including it as a possibility on any biosurveys in purported habitat; and most of all, treating their colleagues the way they would treat any scientist, should one of them report one.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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