Mr./Ms. Squid and Me

Everyone loves dolphins. They’re sleek. They have cute smiles. They’re smart. And Flipper had a huge following long before social media came along. Me? I love squid … yes, really.

Better known by fisherman as bait, and by diners as calamari, squid are intelligent, inquisitive creatures. Best of all, they communicate by changing color and flashing light. After a scuba diving squid encounter, like the video that accompanies this post, I will often celebrate with an underwater happy dance. This curious squid encounter lasted about 10 minutes, and he or she came closer and closer to my camera housing and at one point touched it with his or her tentacles. The video, taken by my husband, was shot in Cozumel, just offshore in 15 feet of water.

“(Squid have) an amazingly rich behavioral repertoire. (Their brains are) probably as complicated as that of some mammals,” said William Gilly, a professor of cell and developmental biology at Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station. Gilly and postdoctoral fellow Thomas Preuss studied squid and described their findings in The Journal of Experimental Biology.

My camera flash clearly fascinated this curious squid. Since squid communicate with light, I believe that by popping the flash repeatedly I may have been speaking squid. Mind you, I haven’t a clue what I was saying. But since the squid hung around for such a long time, I hope I was acting like a teenager at a Justin Bieber concert, all smiles, giggles and full of admiration.

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