Look Out, Captain Nemo!
Here's an "interesting science news" story that's at least partly submarine related. In "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea", Jules Verne writes about the Nautilus being attacked by a giant squid. It now seems that a Japanese team has succeeded in filming a giant squid moving around underwater. Until now, the only specimens we've seen are those that wash up on the beach or are hauled up by fishing boats. So how'd they do it? Good old fashioned perseverance -- a much better idea than one of the original plans people had to get the footage:
"In 2003, New Zealand marine biologists laid a sex trap.
"They ground up some squid gonads, believing that the scent would drive male giant squids wild as the creatures migrated through New Zealand waters.
"The hope was that a camera would squirt out the pureed genitals and a passing squid, driven into a sexual frenzy, would then mate with the lens -- a project that, some may be relieved to hear, never came to fruition."
Suppose it's better to have it try to mate with the camera rather than a passing submarine. Anyway, here's a potentially interesting fact about giant squids that I remembered from when I was studying for a potential Jeopardy appearance. (I passed the test, but never got called in for the show -- that damn tournament they ran in order to get Ken Jennings some actual competition knocked out about two months of tapings.)
Back to the trivia. Ambergris, valued as a perfume fixative, is produced in the stomachs of sperm whales in order to protect the whale's stomach lining from the undigestible beaks of giant squid. And now you know...