When Squid Fly: New Photographic Evidence

On August 2, I published an online article with Scientific American about flying squid. Not flying fish. Flying squid.

Marine biologist Silvia Maciá was boating on the north coast of Jamaica in the summer of 2001 when she noticed something soar out of the sea. At first she thought it was a member of the flying fish family—a group of marine fish that escape predators by breaking the water’s surface at great speed and gliding through the air on unusually large pectoral fins. But after tracing the creature’s graceful arc for a few seconds, Maciá realized this was no fish. It was a squid—and it was flying.

With her husband and fellow biologist Michael Robinson, Maciá identified the airborne cephalopod as a Caribbean reef squid (Sepioteuthis sepioidea)—a lithe, torpedo-shaped critter with long, undulating fins. They think the squid was startled by the noise of the boat’s outboard engine and estimated that the 20-centimeter-long mollusk reached a height of two meters above the water and flew a total distance of 10 meters—50 times its body length. What’s more, the squid extended its fins and flared its tentacles in a radial pattern while airborne, as though guiding its flight.

Macia eventually co-wrote a 2004 study in the Journal of Molluscan Studies that described several observations of flying squid, but the paper relied largely on anecdotal evidence. There were no photographs or videos.

Recently, however, on a cruise ship off the coast of Brazil, retired geologist and amateur photographer Bob Hulse captured what may be the best-ever photographic evidence of flying squid. Hulse sent the pictures to University of Hawaii oceanographer Richard Young, who passed them along to Ron O’Dor, senior scientist for the Census of Marine Life. O’Dor thinks he can analyze the photos to gain a better understanding of squid aerodynamics, which few people have been able to properly study due to lack of adequate documentation.

An abridged version of my online article will also appear in the October print issue of Scientific American, accompanied by one of Bob’s photographs. Unfortunately, due to spatial constraints, the printed magazine page cannot properly accommodate the glory of Bob’s photographs. He took his photos while aboard a cruise ship off the coast of Brazil, so he wasn’t exactly face-to-tentacle with the squid. An image cropped from such a distant image and pasted on a magazine page can only offer so much. What we need is one of those fancy setups straight out of an episode of CSI. You know, something like: ‘Computer: locate the squid; zoom in 3 billion and 4/5%! Now, identify the species. Thank you, computer. Now commence calamari conversion.”

Okay, enough of that. I have a better solution. Here are Bob’s pictures. When you click on them, the ocean should flood your browser. And then you can zoom in even further to locate the flying squid above the waves. Look for the triangular tips, the floppy fins, the fanned tentacles and the jets of water trailing the squid rockets.

Click and Zoom!

Photograph of flying squid off the coast of Brazil (Credit: Bob and Deb Hulse)

Photograph of flying squid off the coast of Brazil (Credit: Bob and Deb Hulse)

Photograph of flying squid off the coast of Brazil (Credit: Bob and Deb Hulse)

About these ads

57 responses to “When Squid Fly: New Photographic Evidence

  1. Thanks for the additonal photos, they really bring the words to life. What a sight that must have been!

  2. Nigmatullin Chingis

    Cordial thanks for excellent photos of flying squids!!!
    This typical flight and habitus of oceanic ommastrephid squids of genus Ommastrephes and Sthenoteuthis. I see these flying squids in open waters of Atlantic and Indian Oceans in 1970-s and 1980-s. It was Ommastrephes bartramii, Sthenoteuthis pteropus and S. oualaniensis with mantle length about 4-10 cm. There were also some observations of flying of onychoteuthid squid Onychoteuthis baksii. Unfortunately the quality of our cameras was low and did not give to receive the qualitative photos. In 1980-s Japanese colleagues had received good photos of flying squids! This juvenile squid on photos is either Sthenoteuthis pteropus (tropical waters) or Ommastrephes bartramii (subtropical waters). It’s important to know the coordinate of point where were made these photos (mainly latitude) and surface water temperature. These data can help for preliminary taxonomic identification of this squid. With best regards Chingis Nigmatullin, teuthologist

  3. Pingback: beatworm.co.uk » Blog Archive » Flying fish (actually flying squid).

  4. Chingis, I took the photos from the bow of the National Geographic Explorer last year and after we got home and realized how unusual the photos were got hold of the first officer on the ship about where we were and here is his reply:
    Per Hakan. our position was: > OCTOBER 30 1315 LT POSITION > LAT. 24-28.0S LONG 041-02.5W > Hope that adds some useful information for the researchers. > On Friday, November 27, 2009, Although we didn’t have a sea surface temp I was out shooting Flying fish so we we not in cold water.

    Hope that helps

  5. Pingback: 鱿鱼为什么飞出海面? | Tode

  6. I’m working on a postgraduate level biomimetic robotics project and this behaviour could have a great deal of relevance. Would it be possible to have all 16 of your original photos?

  7. Pingback: Steiner 7×50 Marine Binocular

  8. Enjoying the service of Odyssey – Streaming – Radio is so easy.
    So your personal, non-commercial, watercraft is exempt from a licensing requirement.

    So, a custom direct application and route tracking can make it easier to you cut fuel cost, save visit time and wholesome delivery.

  9. There is also a boom that can be moved up and out of the way
    when one wants to simply use the headphones. G500s Laser Gaming
    Mouse packs a gaming grade laser for precise cursor control on a wide variety of surfaces and a hyper-fast dual-mode
    scroll wheel. This trackball is perfect for people who are short
    on space and have a small work area.

  10. For any kind of luxury item of consumption, MAD (Money, Authority and Desire)
    is required. Regular workshops ensure that the staff at PVM
    Radio subdivision is not only up to date with the latest technological innovations, but
    also ensures that the customers from diverse backgrounds are offered the best
    possible services to suit their tastes. These channels offer a variety of genres for the user.

  11. Broadcast satellite “in the Star on the 9th,” was successfully launched in June last year, it can
    be said is a milestone in the field of live satellite event.
    This means that everyone in the whole wide world can access
    this new kind of radio and you are assured that the programs as well as
    the list of radio stations you are listening to are all automatically updated.

    So, a custom direct application and route tracking can make
    it easier to you cut fuel cost, save visit time and wholesome delivery.

  12. As always, if you have questions daffodil ghd or concerns regarding how to care for your dog, please consult with your Veterinarian or veterinary technician.

  13. This is more important than ever in a world where there are dozens of different audio
    formats. It was an entertaining radio program that played the music people wanted to hear combined with his groovy upbeat personality.
    Many people will be happy with replaceable batteries for home use and occasional outings.

  14. Once you have done this, set the burn speed to
    4x and click Burn and wait for it to complete. It combines RPG elements and strategy for a very interesting
    game where you must stop the rows of pirates ship from making their way down the river.
    But what happens when a player runs out of race tokens.

  15. s better to use whole foods made from scratch for good health.
    It’s old news that tracking food intake could lead to losing a few pounds [2].
    When you’re about to start on your weight loss plan, it’s a good idea to think about your end goal and chunk it down into smaller goals.

  16. Too many folks have already thrown away plenty of good money on nothing but useless
    salt tablets being shipped from South America. Authorities inside
    the area will need to have an intensive understanding of laboratory
    and labeling techniques, infection security precautions,
    appropriate blood attract approaches to the elderly and
    for infants and even more. The institution has
    persistently offered ideal programs and services for those struggling to achieve certain levels
    of body weight.

  17. From the massive damage of a rocket strike,
    to minimal destruction due to bullets making chips in the wall,
    this gaming engine delivers life-like battleground
    destruction. Antietam National Cemetery – The remains of 4,776 Federal soldiers, including 1,836
    unknowns, are buried in this hilltop cemetery near town.
    Battlefield: Bad Company Publisher: Electronic Arts, Developer:
    Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment, Date: June 23, ESRB Rating: T The Battlefield franchise
    set the precedent for war games with plenty of methods to traverse over the battleground and dump your enemies.

  18. Usually I do not learn article on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to
    try and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thank
    you, quite nice article.

  19. Superb blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on
    everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform
    like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out
    there that I’m totally confused .. Any tips? Thank you!

  20. You could certainly see your enthusiasm in the article
    you write. The sector hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe.
    Always go after your heart.

  21. Thanks in support of sharing such a pleasant opinion, piece of writing is good, thats why i
    have read it fully

  22. Please let me know if you’re looking for a author for your blog.
    You have some really good articles and I feel I would be a good asset.
    If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really like to write some articles for your blog in exchange
    for a link back to mine. Please send me an e-mail if interested.

    Thank you!

  23. It’s amazing to pay a quick visit this site and reading the views of all
    friends regarding this piece of writing, while I am also keen of getting familiarity.

  24. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say
    that I have really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.

    After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you
    write again soon!

  25. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but
    I find this matter to be really something that I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complex and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post,
    I will try to get the hang of it!

  26. It’s an awesome piec of writing in favor of all the internet
    people; they will get advantage from it I am sure.

  27. ”Billy Corgan has managed to write the perfect first date soundtrack despite his often dark and sullen disposition. Here are
    the best songs from musicals to use at karaoke. Your popular country,
    pop, rock, and instrumental music found here.

  28. You actually make it seem so easy together with your presentation but I find this matter to be really one thing which I think
    I might never understand. It seems too complex and extremely vast for
    me. I’m having a look forward on your subsequent publish, I’ll attempt to
    get the grasp of it!

  29. Simply want to say your article is as amazing. The clarity
    in your publish is simply great and i can suppose you are an expert on this subject.
    Well together with your permission let me to grab your RSS
    feed to keep updated with impending post. Thank you 1,000,000 and please
    continue the gratifying work.

  30. Hi there, his weekend iss pleasant in support of
    me, for tthe reason that this point in time i am reading this impressive inforemative piece
    off writing here at my home.

  31. I just like the valuable information you provide to your articles.
    I will bookmark your weblog and test again right here regularly.
    I’m reasonably certain I will be informed plenty of new
    stuff right right here! Good luck for the next!

  32. Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful post.
    Many thanks for providing this info.

  33. I was wondering if you ever considered changing the page
    layout of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so
    people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or
    two images. Maybe you could space it out better?

  34. I have read so many posts regarding the blogger lovers but this article is genuinely a nice
    article, keep it up.

  35. Hello there I am so thrilled I found your blog, I really found
    you by accident, while I was looking on Askjeeve for
    something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to
    say many thanks for a tremendous post and a all round entertaining blog (I also love
    the theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all
    at the moment but I have saved it and also included your RSS feeds,
    so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do
    keep up the fantastic job.

  36. I am regular visitor, how are you everybody? This paragraph posted at
    this web page is truly fastidious.

  37. Everything is very open with a clear clarification of the issues.
    It was really informative. Your site is extremely helpful.
    Thank you for sharing!

  38. Everything is very open with a really clear explanation of
    the challenges. It was really informative. Your website is very useful.
    Thank you for sharing!

  39. Wonderful goods from you, man. I’ve undersfand your stuff previopus to and you are just too
    excellent. I really like whuat you have acquired here, realy like
    what you’re saying and the wway in which you say it.
    You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep
    it wise. I can not wait to read much more from you.

    This is really a great weeb site.

  40. Goodd blog post. I definitely love this website.
    Keep writing!

  41. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I fihd
    this topic to be really something that I think I would never understand.

    It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me.
    I am looking forward for your nwxt post, I wikll try to get the hang of it!

  42. zenonia 5 hack no survey download

    Hi everyone, it’s my first pay a quick visit at this website,
    and article is genuinely fruitful in support of me, keep up
    posting such content.

  43. Nice weblog here! Also your website rather a lot up very fast!
    What web host are you using? Can I am getting your associate link in your host?
    I want my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  44. Or you can and have regained their faith in themselves and has been certified as the massage.
    I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m a true publicity about the penis.
    Memory loss, heart palpitations, flushing and
    gastro-intestinal problems. Thsre are some male enhancement
    pills luring ads oof sexual satisfaction, the development of drugs
    and unhealthy lifestyle. If you want to take. All in all men nowadays
    feel having a to introduce improvements tto your penis related
    problems in the way itt works oon a purchase be sure to eatt
    a healthy heart means better erections.

  45. It’s not mmy first time to pay a visit this site, i am browsing this web page dailly and take fastidious facts from hsre all the time.

  46. Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to check out your blog on my iphone during lunch break.
    I love the knowledge you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m shocked at how quick your blog loaded on my phone ..

    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, amazing site!

  47. Wow, marvelous blog layout! How llong have you been blogging
    for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website
    is fantastic, as well as the content!

  48. I read this post fully concerning the resemblance
    of latest and preceding technologies, it’s remarkable article.

  49. TendreAndrada MyFreeCams Webcam Show Collection 03/10/2014

  50. Thank you for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I
    will be waiting for your next post thank you once again.

  51. Generisk Zithromax är väldigt billigt och Ԁu kan köpa det enkelt på nätet.

  52. Greetings from California! I’m bored to death at work so I decided
    to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break.
    I love the information you provide here and can’t wait
    to take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at
    how fast your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI,
    just 3G .. Anyhow, very good blog!

  53. Hi there, this weekend is good in support of me,
    as this point in time i am reading this enormous educational post here at my house.

  54. For latest news you have to pay a quick visit the web and on internet I found this site
    as a most excellent website for latest updates.

  55. This post is really a pleasant one it helps new web viewers, who are wishing in favor of blogging.

  56. Sagging wrinkled skin is quite noticeable around the neck
    and eyes. You probably have times where your home is in disarray because you don’t have the
    time, energy or ambition to clean. Keep
    your hair well moisturized, but most of all, avoid falling for these hair growth
    myths as we learn to care for our hair.

  57. It’s actually a nicfe and useful piece of info. I’m glad that you shared this useful information with us.
    Please stay uus informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s