Posted by: adventuressetravels | February 1, 2013

The Screaming Squid

The unearthly high-pitched undulating scream cut to the very marrow of your bones.  The squid had used all of its ink shooting jets of black into the ocean, and had moved on to its second defense: the eviscerating scream.

00000710I had spent the morning collecting oysters off of the coast of High Island, Australia while Captain Nemo fished a little way off.  The tide was low and all we needed was a screwdriver and a hammer to pry the little crustaceans off of the rocks.  Soon my little Tupperware container was almost full so it was almost time to head back.

I called the dinghy over and gingerly climbed in keeping my eye out for the myriad of deadly creatures that filled Australia’s waters.  Almost at once, Nemo saw a squid in the clear water.  Immediately he pulled his line in and changed the lure to his magic squid-catching one.

“It almost isn’t fair,” he boasted.  “If there is a squid around you just throw this in and the squid doesn’t have a chance.”

I was skeptical, but he expertly tossed the line over near where he had spotted the creature.  Expertly he slowly danced the line in with the curious cephalopod in his thrall.  It attacked the line quite near the boat and we scooped it into our net and watched a dark cloud grow as the beast spasmed, spewing jets of ink into the sea.

00001424When our friend had emptied his ink supply we scooped him over the side into the blue bucket which I had filled with sea water.  He was by far the largest squid I had ever seen, over a foot long with massive tentacles.  To be fair, my limited squid experience consisted of calamari and a small flying one hitting me in the head.  This was a different kettle of fish, or bucket of squid, entirely.

Bursts of water erupted against the sides of the bucket as the squid tried in vain to muster another trickle of ink to obscure him.  A shudder ran through me as I looked into blue bucket and saw enormous watery eyes staring back at me.  The animal was utterly alien and brushed against some a primal fear.  It was fascinating to watch the creature changing color in the bucket, but the eyes were too much for me.  I threw a towel over the top of the bucket.

That is when it started.  If the eyes had disturbed me, fear gripped me at hearing the cry.  The noise was something directly out of a horror film.  Nothing that originated on the earth, or at least nothing from this plane of reality could possibly make that wail.  It made gritty screech of fingernails on a chalkboard seem like a soothing lullaby.  Thankfully it was a bright sunny day and we were near land, but had I heard this in the middle of the ocean on an overcast day the terror would have overwhelmed me. I had never known squid made any sound before this but now all I wanted was for it to stop.

The Captain killed our captive and the cries ceased.  To this day the scream of a squid is unquestionably the worst sound I have ever heard.  I cannot find any youtube videos of this dreadful banshee wail, nor am I sure that I would I want to.

That night we feasted on Korean-style oyster pancakes and fresh, tender calamari.


  1. Vivid account, leaving me to wonder what sound is made by the giant squid.

  2. I heard a squid like that screaming too once. It was unearthly and one of the worst sounds I’ve ever heard. A wail that went on and on, loud while it was in a bucket of water. Not much mention of it on the net.

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