Dial L for Low
By: Peggy Nelson | Categories: Popular, Spectacles

If it exists, we will film it. Sooner or later.

A three-person team has finally captured live video of a giant squid, swimming about 2000 feet below the surface just off Japan. “Finally” because giant squid, in addition to being denizens of the very deep indeed, are notorious loners, single animals distributed lightly over the ocean sea.

We’ve known they exist because dead ones have washed up onshore, and tentacle markings from others, presumed dead, have been found on their whale enemies, the scars of terrible duels. But now we have caught one on film, in its natural habitat, doing what it does.

And what does it do? Technically it swims. And eats. But swimming doesn’t really do it justice — it is not scooting along in a streamlined linear fashion, the type of motion we would expect after seeing its lines and curves, which are not dissimilar to certain chrome-enhanced vehicles of the early 1960s. No: it is dancing; voguing, even; cruising the waterways and displaying its embellishments.

Not racing — lowriding.

So yeah, those giant tentacles? They’re real, and they’re spectacular.

Wave your hands in the air like you don’t care
Glide by the people as they start to look and stare
Do your dance, do your dance, do your dance quick…

Word Up, Cameo

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Peggy Nelson is Arts Editor at HiLobrow, covering art, art-makers, and the virtual life; she was also HiLobrow's first Artist in Residence. She is a new media artist whose work involves fractured narratives in film, augmented reality, Twitter, and even objects on occasion. Follow her on Twitter at @otolythe.