Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Alien Probe

Right off the bat, no, I wasn’t probed by aliens. I’m not sure why not. I mean, I’ve gone to bed early, left out cookies, cleaned the fireplace . . . oh, wait, that’s Santa Claus. Never mind.

So, I was watching a Discovery Channel show about the Humbolt Squid. The Humbolt, for those of you not in the know, are semi-intelligent, carnivorous, pack-feeding squid that have been expanding rapidly up the California coast. They can be rather aggressive and have been known to attack divers and swimmers and have killed and eaten a few people. They seem to be the squid version of a 1950’s movie street gang and I’m sure they will soon be dragging themselves onto land to acquire leather jackets, take up smoking, and ride around on motorcycles in no time. Small town sheriffs will need to be notified.

Anyway, on this show, a ‘reputable’ scientist (and I put ‘reputable’ in quotes for the behavior I’m about to subscribe) decided to catch a Humbolt and stick a probe in it while it was still alive.

NOTE: Humbolt’s can only survive a few hours out of the water. The scientists on the show were mystified by this, but it’s seemed pretty miraculous to me. After all, we can only survive a minute or two underwater, so a few hours is pretty damn impressive.

This scientist proceeded to catch a Humbolt, tossed it into a tank and then without an introduction, stuck a probe in it and started, well, probing. This seemed to upset the squid, which I can fully understand, and after a few minutes, the scientist threw it back into the water promising to call it later.
While fascinating to watch, the only thing I could think of was ‘this is how alien probe stories get started.’

Think about it.

This squid (whom we’ll call Billy) was just swimming around, thinking about riding a motorcycle, when it was grabbed, yanked out of its environment, immobilized and then had a large metal instrument stuck into what was probably an embarrassing place for a squid. Said instrument was waved around awhile and then whipped out and poor Billy was tossed unceremoniously back into the ocean.

Yes, his name is Billy the Squid. I’m inordinately pleased about that.

The following conversation then took place:

Billy: Great squid gods! You’ll never believe what happened to me!

Another Squid: What?

Billy: I just got yanked out of the water and some giant, hideous creature with only two arms stuck a thingie up my tookus!

NOTE: ‘tookus’ is the medical term for a squid’s butt

Another Squid: No way!

Billy: Way!

Another Squid: Pshaw! – swims away-

Billy: Why won’t anyone believe me!

Yet Another Squid That Looks Suspiciously Like David Duchovny: I believe you.

Simply put: We just seriously messed with that poor squid’s entire belief system and possibly started the first squid conspiracy theory. I wouldn’t be surprised if that area of the ocean was later called ‘Area 51’ in Squid-ese.

And when they start dragging themselves onto land armed with switchblades, we’ll wonder why.



Gillsing said...

I've had similar thoughts regarding regular fishing, when a fish is deemed too small, and you throw it back. Clear case of human abduction.

As for aliens abducting humans, that seems completely natural. If they've come here from somewhere waaay out there, chances are high that they've evolved for quite a few thousand years more than we have, and that they might consider us interesting primitives, worthy of study, and not to be disturbed in our natural habitat. Thus they'd hide, and catch a few for closer studying.

The funny part is where we, the primitives, think so highly of ourselves that we make up elaborate fantasies about repelling alien invaders. It'd be like fish repelling human invaders from the ocean... oh wait...did you say that those squids attacked and ate humans? Might it be because human fishers have been overfishing, leaving the poor squids little else to eat? Because that's the kind of power real aliens would have over us humans. Not much we could actually do to defend ourselves if our planet is bought by a hungry alien who decides to use it as a lobster tank for fresh human flesh.

Jason Janicki said...

The squid would get into a feeding frenzy similar to sharks. Apparently, some fisherman capsized their boat in rough swells and fell in. The commotion attracted the squid and well, not much was found.

I actually just watched Monsters vs. Aliens last night, so your comment about us repelling aliens is oddly topical. I did enjoy the movie, btb, and it actually had a couple bits that made me laugh.