Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Is this the Houdini Sea Creature - and did it Influence Dagon?

The facts seem well dcumented, but beyond this pericope, we don;t have enough evidence to speculate.

Starting in this century, the geographic reach of recorded beachings has grown more widespread. In March 1909, Massachusetts recorded its first giant squid. (The second would not appear for another seventy-one years.) Off the Cape Cod village of Truro, the fishing schooner Annie Perry found a giant squid floating on the surface. In an anonymous letter written to Henry Blake (who quoted it in an article in the malacological journal Nautilus),

It was perfectly fresh, and the crew took some of it for bait and caught quite a number of fish. I saw one of the tentacles ... and it was seven feet six inches long, and the suckers were as large as a silver quarter. A piece of the body was, I should think, four inches in thickness, and the tentacles must have been four inches in diameter at the larger end.... The captain of the vessel who took the squid says it was a very little larger than their dory, which is 16 or 17 feet long ... The whole body was about as large around as a fish barrel.

Richard Ellis, The Search for the Giant Squid: The Biology and Mythology of the World's Most Elusive Sea Creature, Penguin Books, NY, 1999, p. 94.

Ellis cites on p. 270: J. H. Blake, 1909, A Giant Squid, Nautilus 23:43-44,83.

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