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What a Giant Squid and the Paranormal Have in Common

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Last week I saw a story on Today about how a team of researchers filmed a giant squid in its natural habitat for the first time ever. In fact, you may have caught the show Monster Squid: The Giant Is Real on Discovery Channel? It aired on January 27.

The footage was captured during a research expedition off Japan’s Ogasawara Islands. This was huge. It seems capturing images of giant squid alive is about as hard as capturing evidence of the paranormal.

The animal can grow to 35 feet or longer, and its eye is as big as your head. But it lives about 1,000 feet below the surface and deeper, and it had only been glimpsed a few times at the surface and photographed alive once.

From The Giant Squid Stalker

My heart soared watching the find unfold and history being made. It gave me hope that Bigfoot, Nessie, ghosts, UFOs, and all other manner of paranormal phenomenon will enjoy similar breakthroughs some day. (Okay, so there is a lot of alleged footage out there when it comes to some things, like Bigfoot, ghosts, and UFOs –especially UFOs– but totally definitive proof like this footage of the giant squid? Not so much.)

What was really exciting was Edith Widder, the deep-sea biologist who led the expedition, said how she used a different type of bait to “catch” the giant squid. (Like “ghost hunters,” Widder wasn’t physically capturing the squid though. She was trying to lure it out to capture images of it.)

An expert on bioluminescence, Widder hypothesized that the light scientists were using to explore underwater was driving sea creatures away. Yet, she also wondered if it could be made to attract. She noticed that animals used bioluminescent lights to lure everything from mates to meals. She also suspected “that certain jellyfish pulse with bioluminescence when they are getting attacked. It’s a last-ditch attempt that works sort of like a burglar alarm to bring in something even bigger to attack the attacker.”

Years ago, on a shoestring budget, she and her team built a deployable system that included a low-light camera and dim red lights, which most deep dwellers can’t detect. (Their eyes are tuned to blue wavelengths, which travel farther through water.)

Then she added bait. The system, called Eye-in-the-Sea, is fitted with a device that mimics the ring of blue lights fired in a marquee pattern by certain jellyfish—the ones she thinks do the burglar alarm trick. She deployed the system for the first time in the Gulf of Mexico. Just 86 seconds later, a large squid darted into view; it was a species new to science.

That’s how she caught this monster giant squid in Japanese waters. She thought outside of the box and used a different “bait” than others had used before.

For all of you paranormal investigators and researchers out there, I challenge you to do as Widder did. Study what seems to attract whatever you’re investigating, be it ghosts, UFOs, or creatures. I know some are doing this already. But I encourage more people to think outside the box, take into account other environmental circumstances like Widder did (ie. the jellyfish emitting stress signals to attract something bigger to take care of their attacker). What’s happening when whatever strange phenomenon that’s been reported in the place you’re investigating occurs? Is there a way to recreate something within the environment from that time so as to attract the unusual activity and encourage it to happen again?

Ghosts must exist. Even as harsh as I am about paranormal “evidence,” too many people have experienced too many similar things for ghosts not to exist. Heck, not just ghosts, but for UFOs, Bigfoot, Nessie and other creatures too. I refuse to believe all accounts can be chalked up to figments of the imagination or, in the case of creatures, be other animals mistaken for something paranormal. With enough diligence, patience, and creative thinking, I’m convinced one of these days someone will do like Widder did and capture bonafide video, photos, maybe even actual specimens of things we now only speculate to exist.

After all, the giant squid was once thought to be nothing more than a sea monster imagined by sailors…until remains were found. And now someone has found a way to see it alive in its natural surroundings. If it can happen for giant squid, it can happen for ghosts, UFOs, and other creatures too.

Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her in one of three places: on a tennis court somewhere, on a yoga mat somewhere, or watching a horror movie somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

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