Sunday, January 18, 2009

Japan's giant cephalopod story

It's useful to remember that cryptozoology is not just an interest (or passion) in the United States. Brent Swancer, an American living in Japan, files occasional reports with Cryptomundo on Japanese cryptids. This example concerns Akkorokamui, a creature one might think was invented for a Godzilla movie, except it's actually an old tradition among Japan's indigenous Ainu. A bright red cephalopod alleged to reach up to 110 meters in size, the legendary creature makes its home in Funka Bay on the island of Hokkaido. Is this story an exaggerated version of the North Pacific Giant Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini), or something more?
COMMENT: We're not going to find a cephalopod 110m across. It would have trouble gathering enough food as well as controlling its tentacles (given the limited speed of nerve impulses). Still, given that giant squid reach at least 18m, an octopus larger than known species is hardly impossible.

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