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  • Translator: Joseph Geni Reviewer: Morton Bast

  • The Kraken, a beast so terrifying

  • it was said to devour men and ships and whales,

  • and so enormous it could be mistaken for an island.

  • In assessing the merits of such tales,

  • it's probably wise to keep in mind that old sailor's saw

  • that the only difference between a fairytale and a sea story

  • is a fairytale begins, "Once upon a time,"

  • and a sea story begins, "This ain't no shit." (Laughter)

  • Every fish that gets away

  • grows with every telling of the tale.

  • Nevertheless, there are giants in the ocean,

  • and we now have video proof,

  • as those of you that saw the Discovery Channel documentary are no doubt aware.

  • I was one of the three scientists on this expedition

  • that took place last summer off Japan.

  • I'm the short one.

  • The other two are Dr. Tsunemi Kubodera and Dr. Steve O'Shea.

  • I owe my participation in this now-historic event

  • to TED.

  • In 2010, there was a TED event called Mission Blue

  • held aboard the Lindblad Explorer in the Galapagos

  • as part of the fulfillment of Sylvia Earle's TED wish.

  • I spoke about a new way of exploring the ocean,

  • one that focuses on attracting animals instead of scaring them away.

  • Mike deGruy was also invited,

  • and he spoke with great passion about his love of the ocean,

  • and he also talked to me about applying my approach

  • to something he's been involved with for a very long time,

  • which is the hunt for the giant squid.

  • It was Mike that got me invited to the squid summit,

  • a gathering of squid experts at the Discovery Channel

  • that summer during Shark Week. (Laughter)

  • I gave a talk on unobtrusive viewing

  • and optical luring of deep sea squid

  • in which I emphasized the importance

  • of using quiet, unobtrusive platforms for exploration.

  • This came out of hundreds of dives I have made,

  • farting around in the dark

  • using these platforms,

  • and my impression that I saw more animals

  • working from the submersible

  • than I did with either of the remote-operated vehicles.

  • But that could just be because the submersible has a wider field of view.

  • But I also felt like I saw more animals

  • working with the Tiburon than the Ventana,

  • two vehicles with the same field of view

  • but different propulsion systems.

  • So my suspicion was that it might have something to do with the amount of noise they make.

  • So I set up a hydrophone on the bottom of the ocean,

  • and I had each of these fly by at the same speed and distance

  • and recorded the sound they made.

  • The Johnson Sea-Link -- (whirring noise) --

  • which you can probably just barely hear here,

  • uses electric thrusters -- very, very quiet.

  • The Tiburon also uses electric powered thrusters.

  • It's also pretty quiet, but a bit noisier. (Louder whirring noise)

  • But most deep-diving ROVs these days use hydraulics

  • and they sound like the Ventana. (Loud beeping noise)

  • I think that's got to be scaring a lot of animals away.

  • So for the deep sea squid hunt,

  • I proposed using an optical lure

  • attached to a camera platform

  • with no thrusters, no motors,

  • just a battery-powered camera,

  • and the only illumination coming from red light

  • that's invisible to most deep-sea animals

  • that are adapted to see primarily blue.

  • That's visible to our eye,

  • but it's the equivalent of infrared in the deep sea.

  • So this camera platform, which we called the Medusa,

  • could just be thrown off the back of the ship,

  • attached to a float at the surface with over 2,000 feet of line,

  • it would just float around passively carried by the currents,

  • and the only light visible to the animals in the deep

  • would be the blue light of the optical lure,

  • which we called the electronic jellyfish, or e-jelly,

  • because it was designed to imitate

  • the bioluminescent display

  • of the common deep sea jellyfish Atolla.

  • Now, this pinwheel of light that the Atolla produces

  • is known as a bioluminescent burglar alarm

  • and is a form of defense.

  • The reason that the electronic jellyfish worked as a lure

  • is not because giant squid eat jellyfish,

  • but it's because this jellyfish only resorts to producing this light

  • when it's being chewed on by a predator

  • and its only hope for escape

  • may be to attract the attention of a larger predator

  • that will attack its attacker

  • and thereby afford it an opportunity for escape.

  • It's a scream for help, a last-ditch attempt for escape,

  • and a common form of defense in the deep sea.

  • The approach worked.

  • Whereas all previous expeditions had failed to garner

  • a single video glimpse of the giant,

  • we managed six, and the first triggered wild excitement.

  • Edith Widder (on video): Oh my God. Oh my God! Are you kidding me?Other scientists: Oh ho ho! That's just hanging there.

  • EW: It was like it was teasing us, doing a kind of fan dance --

  • now you see me, now you don't --

  • and we had four such teasing appearances,

  • and then on the fifth, it came in and totally wowed us.

  • (Music) Narrator: (Speaking in Japanese)

  • Scientists: Ooh. Bang! Oh my God! Whoa!

  • (Applause)

  • EW: The full monty.

  • What really wowed me about that

  • was the way it came in up over the e-jelly

  • and then attacked the enormous thing next to it,

  • which I think it mistook for the predator on the e-jelly.

  • But even more incredible was the footage shot

  • from the Triton submersible.

  • What was not mentioned in the Discovery documentary

  • was that the bait squid that Dr. Kubodera used,

  • a one-meter long diamondback squid

  • had a light attached to it, a squid jig

  • of the type that longline fishermen use,

  • and I think it was this light

  • that brought the giant in.

  • Now, what you're seeing

  • is the intensified camera's view under red light,

  • and that's all Dr. Kubodera could see when the giant comes in here.

  • And then he got so excited,

  • he turned on his flashlight because he wanted to see better,

  • and the giant didn't run away,

  • so he risked turning on the white lights on the submersible,

  • bringing a creature of legend

  • from the misty history into high-resolution video.

  • It was absolutely breathtaking,

  • and had this animal had its feeding tentacles intact

  • and fully extended,

  • it would have been as tall as a two-story house.

  • How could something that big

  • live in our ocean and yet remain unfilmed until now?

  • We've only explored about five percent of our ocean.

  • There are great discoveries yet to be made down there,

  • fantastic creatures representing millions of years of evolution

  • and possibly bioactive compounds

  • that could benefit us in ways that we can't even yet imagine.

  • Yet we have spent only a tiny fraction

  • of the money on ocean exploration

  • that we've spent on space exploration.

  • We need a NASA-like organization for ocean exploration,

  • because we need to be exploring and protecting

  • our life support systems here on Earth.

  • We needthank you. (Applause)

  • Exploration is the engine that drives innovation.

  • Innovation drives economic growth.

  • So let's all go exploring,

  • but let's do it in a way that doesn't scare the animals away,

  • or, as Mike deGruy once said,

  • "If you want to get away from it all

  • and see something you've never seen,

  • or have an excellent chance of seeing something that no one's ever seen,

  • get in a sub."

  • He should have been with us for this adventure.

  • We miss him.

  • (Applause)

Translator: Joseph Geni Reviewer: Morton Bast

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B1 US TED squid deep sea sea ocean jellyfish

【TED】Edith Widder: How we found the giant squid (How we found the giant squid | Edith Widder)

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    劉家豪 posted on 2015/08/11
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