New sea creature lurking in the deep

Funny story written by Frank Cotolo

Tuesday, 8 June 2004

image for New sea creature lurking in the deep
A colorful look at the ocean's floor.

PLACID, Fla. -- A ghastly, 23-foot-long squid with arms more than half its total length has been captured on videotape in four different oceans in recent years.

"This is well beyond a new species," said Horatio Flung of the New Marine Monsters Service.

The oceans cover approximately two-thirds of Earth's surface, leaving but one-third dry. Life on dry land rarely reaches above the tallest mountain. But, life in the oceans can exist at many different depths and beyond the focus of a scientist's camera.

"The wide and vast depths are thick and, of course, very wet," said Flung. "No one has gone to many regions of this area for lack of funding, time, energy, equipment and, of course, the fear that some unknown creature will eat them up."

"This new squid is large," said Flung, "and it is possible that if he could get to dry land he might destroy buildings and kill people. But, though that is unlikely, we know absolutely nothing about this creature."

Flung also pointed out that many creatures in the open oceans may be possible of dry-land destruction, were they able to survive there. "When we get down there and see what deep-water squids are doing, we're surprised by their behaviors," he said. "We saw one deep-water squid grab onto another, tow it around, drop it and make a gesture as if it was asking for a tip."

The squids described by Flung don't seem to use their arms for grabbing prey, as shallow water squid do. "Instead," he said, "they use their tongues. Some tongues are as long as the squid's arms and the squid gets confused sometimes and swallows another arm instead of the tongue with the prey. Many times the prey then escapes and the squid shoots ink out and becomes lost in the cloud. This, we now believe, is why these squids seem so hungry all of the time."

If the devil is in the details and the details are in the deep blue sea, it seems like it will be decades before scientists can get a handle on all the strange things going on in the ocean. "I know I won't live to see it," Flung said, confessing that he recently had his fourth heart attack in the past seven months. "My doctor said if I get the bends one more time I might not make it to shore."

We spoke with Flung's doctor, physician Eli Sumbermustard. He told us, "Flung's heart is being strained by all this underwater work. Those air tanks are heavy, even with the buoyancy of water. And, those wetsuits are so tight that they cut off his circulation."

Mrs. Flung said, "I don't know why my husband is so damned interested in those stupid fish. He doesn't make enough money to have the job kill him."

A person who never met Flung, said, "I like to eat squid. I hope they catch this new one so we can put it on the menu for Christmas Eve dinner."

The funny story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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