Discovery Channel US will screen Colossal Squid Doco on 31 August

Yes, good news for all you Northern American squid addicts!  Tune into the Discovery Channel at 9pm on 31 August for the world premiere of the squid documentary – it will be repeated again at 1am on 1 September.

Alas, for our fans in Europe and Asia Pacific, a date hasn’t been set for the doco screening yet BUT we hope to get word through later in the week so keep checking the blog!

As well as filming the defrost and examination of the largest, most intact colossal specimen in the world, Discovery Channel have also contributed to the squid preservation project, thanks Discovery!!

14 Responses

  1. yours truly

    Nice…kill a inordinantly rare animal to study it. Gee whatever happened to utilizing technology, good ol tagging, etc. you’re a joke. This documentary should have actually focused on your ego, … did.

  2. Alisa

    Aw, I’ve missed it! I wonder if I can watch it online somewhere?

  3. janekeig

    Hi all!
    Thanks for all your comments. Re: the doco, I am still waiting on info from Discovery on repeats in the US and debuts in other regions..I’m hanging out as well!

    Ted and Nemesio – great debate and I want to clarify a couple of points.
    1) Te Papa has no general admission charge and the squid exhibit will most certainly be free.
    2) The squid was eating a hooked fish when it came to the surface.The net was later wrapped around it to winch it on board.

  4. Tarah Hoffland

    Oh, PLEASE tell me DSC will re-air this documentary soon! We accidentally taped the documentary right before the Colossal squid one….my hubby (bless his heart) saw “Giant Squid” and thought that was the right one. I am SO upset that I missed this! Will they show it again? Can we order it somewhere?

  5. Pam

    Kudos to Cheers for replying to Ted Nugent in such a polite but firm manner. Isn’t Mr Nugent the same individual who has been written to spend his money buying “old zoo animals” for his hunting perserve for the sport of it?

  6. Nemesio Valle, III

    I have to disagree with Ted Nugent. Yes, to be sure, there are bad scientists who abuse sensationalism for personal gain, who ‘ride the wave’ of public enthusiasm so that they can get on television. This is a lamentable aspect of the human condition, that some will take advantage of the power that knowledge grants them, particularly when that knowledge is specialized. But I disagree that this was the case.

    First of all, there’s nothing ‘pseudo-scientific’ about what transpired. Knowledge — even in with worst and most abominable collection methods (not used here) — is always valuable. Mengele’s experiments, while horrid and shameful, have provided knowledge about hypothermia which still pays off today. To shun the fruits of science, even when it is born out of horror, is a foolish attitude.

    Second of all, the colossal squid’s fate was sealed when it was trapped in the net. The choices for the squid were 1) Let it die in the net; 2) Cut it free and let it die in the ocean; 3) Capture it and try to reap some benefit from its death. If such squids could reasonably be caught, then it would have been captured and studied long ago. That this was the *first* live, intact colossal squid captured in recorded history since it was first discovered in 1925 should tell you that it was simply blind luck (good or ill, as you prefer) that it got trapped in the net. This addresses your notion that it ‘had to be killed’ in order to be understood — it was a dying animal which no human intervention could have changed.

    Third, your notion that the scientists have no feelings towards these animals is just absurd. It is clear that these scientists would love nothing more than to study these animals in their natural habitat, and if scientific advances in filmography permit, I am sure that they would study them undisturbed. The Te Papa museum hardly qualifies as a money-making industry (when compared with for-profit entities). Yes, the scientists net a fair salary, but it’s hardly like they’re signing tee-shirts like rock stars. They aren’t naming squid tentacles after themselves, they aren’t preventing people from seeing their work. It’s a museum, like the Louvre or MOMA, in which people can come if they want (or boycott if they object).

    Did you know some of the things in the Louvre are war relics? Do you write them angry blog posts? Do you think tickets used to support the upkeep of such works of art reflect ‘arrogance and ego’ of the docents and curators? How do you think any scientific or artistic endeavor should be funded?

    Fourth, there is no indication about how rare these invertebrates are, only that they are rare for those observers who grace the surface of the planet. We have no reason to believe that a single death has in effect on the survival rate of the species. And, given that this animal’s life was obviously forfeit by virtue of accident, that ‘effect’ was already realized long before science became involved. Given that it’s clear that sperm whales consume these squids at least frequently enough that mature whales invariably have scars in those unfortunate circumstances when we find them beached, it’s reasonable to say that it’s unlikely that the species was threatened by the work of the sea fishermen.

    Lastly, you seem to refer to the squids as individuals. That is, you seem to be attributing to them a certain ‘personhood,’ which is a bold philosophical claim to say the least. It’s clear that having invested a lifetime in studying cephalopods belies your claim that these scientists harbor ‘an utter lack of respect’ for them — indeed their desire to learn more and share that knowledge with the squid-ignorant community at large testifies to their respect. But, it seems that for you it goes deeper than that. Whereas I agree that all living things ought to be afforded a certain degree of respect, that respect is commensurate with certain properties — the capacity to suffer (as distinct from nociception), the capacity to have interests, the capacity for self-awareness, &c. The squid lacks any and all of the necessary neurological components which would confer any sort of personhood or individualness. This does not give a human being a right to wantonly slaughter squid, naturally, but it does mean that the idea that the squid is ‘sacrificed’ is absurd, since the squid has no concept of self in order to have a concept of giving of self.

    Stop being hateful of science when it suits you. For my part, I thank the scientists who so very carefully collected the squid’s body, who so reverently treated it with both a desire to learn from it and share it with the community at large. I hope that the knowledge that they have collected from it inspires a greater respect for the creatures of the deep. I, for one, am enriched by their diligence and fervor and look forward to their sharing of any new discoveries that they might chance upon.


  7. Ted Nugent

    Great job guys!
    Never ceases to amaze me how arrogance and ego are always shrouded behind science and furthering our understanding of nature. Oh, and selling admission tickets.
    Maybe one day, when we’ve killed pretty much everything in the ocean, we can look back and thank guys like O’Shea – so our kids can see what WAS once out there. This extremely rare invert had eggs. Not even a shred of regret for diminishing their survival rate just so you can put it on display.
    Ever considered just letting a being be? Hell nah!
    Cheers to your 15 minutes of fame, your pseudo-science, your money-shot (for sale?), and the pathetic guise of having to kill something to better understand it … cha-ching!
    Your utter lack of respect for the unfortunate individuals that provide your salaries with their sacrifice, far overshadows any so-called scientific contribution.

  8. karen

    Thanks Jane, I will keep checking back! 🙂

    Matt, I’m Jealous Too!!!!!

  9. janekeig

    Hi karen
    We at Te Papa haven’t seen it yet either and we are still waiting for a confirmed date for Europe and Asia Pacific. They say all good things come to those who wait…but I want to see it now too! Keep coming back to the blog, I am pushing hard for confirmed dates!

    Also, Matt, I am sooo jealous!

  10. Matt

    Just finished watching it here in the US! Great! I missed the web-cam, so this was the first I saw of it! Amazing! Thanks to all who made this project possible!

  11. karen

    Awwwww, your so lucky!!! I was All Excited to watch it here (N.S. Canada) But its not listed at all, so it looks like it isnt broadcasting here on our discovery channels.

    I’m soooooo disappointed, as being a loyal squid fan, I watched the whole process and was dien to watch the documentary on tv!

    I hope it comes here , eventually, or maybe it will be available to puchase somewhere? I just have to see it!! I’m so desperate that I plan on searching “youtube” to see if anybody made a video fr the tv documentary, lol

    I’m sure everybody who is watching it now, or later, is watching an incredible documentary!!!!I wish i knew sombody who taped it and could send me it, lol Do I sound That Desperate?! lol

    signed …the sad squid fan!!! lol

  12. rebecca

    i’m excited!! i’ll be in front of my tv sunday night…hopefully with the kiddies in bed already.

  13. Jonathan

    Thank you for that information, can’t wait! This is great news, I’ve been waiting for this for a long time now. I heard there was some video footage of the capture that the fishermen sold to the Channel and I can’t wait to see it. What an exciting event for a once in a lifetime animal that very few get to witness. Hope you guys in NZ get to see it soon, after all, ITS YOUR SQUID!!!

  14. Maryanne

    I hope it will be screened on NZ Sky TV soon. I can’t wait as I missed most of the web-cam due to being at work. Looking forward to hearing from you all soon. Thanks heaps


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