Thursday, September 29, 2005
Creature from the deep
I don’t remember when I first saw the film ‘Jaws’, I do remember that at a certain moment I started to wonder if I would be eaten alive every time I entered an open body of water. Never mind that white sharks rarely attack in duck ponds and canals deep in the interior of the Belgian countryside. The North Sea shores are not really known for shark attacks either, being both cold and very polluted (what were we doing in that water anyway). And later, when I had money enough to fly to more exotic beaches I just knew they were out there, searching for the mustard in the back of their freezers before they would rip off a leg or an arm.
But then we got the National Geographic Channel, and I learned that white sharks aren’t that dangerous. It’s all a matter of bad press. Damn you, Steven Spielberg! In fact, great whites aren’t man eaters, unless you’re stupid enough to lie down on a surfboard and pretend you’re a turtle or a sea lion. They may be a bit short sighted, but on the whole great white sharks are excellent chaps that make a great conversation, albeit with a big mouth. The days of shark cages are long gone, you’re a sissy now if you don’t swim between them in the nude with ketchup all over your body and a sign around your neck that says ‘bite me’. Similarly, blue sharks are as meek as a puppy, just don’t pretend you’re a dying fish, they hate that joke and you might get some biting remarks. (Mako sharks on the other hand are bastards; don’t leave your kid alone in the swimming pool with them).
But now there is this: an eight meter long monster with tentacles of more than five meters. And apparently, it wasn’t even full-grown! A Japanese researcher discovered it in the depths of the Japanese sea in October last year. The giant squid took the bait that was hanging on the line, together with some pretty mean hooks. But after hours of struggle, it still got away, although it now only has seven tentacles instead of eight, the poor little thing. Scientists think that there are even much bigger squids out there. So is there nothing that can stop them? Sure, sperm whales eat these enormous creeps, only the Japanese and the Norwegians are killing the sperm whales. Are they out of their minds? STOP DOING THAT!!! All this leaves me no choice but to take preventive measures. No more scuba-diving at 1000 meters depth for me, ever! Or at least not off the coast of Japan.