Calamarigraphy? Aquarium gets silly with weird squid facts

The Monterey Bay Aquarium offers up a thing that makes you go hmm.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser

This internal shell is called a "pen"

Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Ah, squid. To marine biologists, they're fascinating life forms. To many others, they're appetizers. But we can all agree the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California knows how to make them sound utterly captivating.

The aquarium took to Twitter on Monday to casually mention that squid have an ink sac and an internal shell called a "pen." 

"So we're living just a few short evolutionary steps away from calamarigraphy and honestly there goes the rest of today," the aquarium declared.

But there's more. The aquarium then shared a video of the removal of the pen, a long, thin translucent internal shell, from a market squid in the facility's food preparation room. 

"California market squid (Doryteuthis opalescens) is a sustainable seafood that we feed to our sea otters, leopard sharks and other aquarium residents," another tweet noted.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is known for its pun-filled Twitter feed and funny ASCII art. The account even called Apple out on the accuracy of its squid emoji late last year. 

As for the obscure art of calamarigraphy, it isn't too far-fetched. Humans historically used cephalopod ink for writing and drawing, up through the 19th century, so your dream of becoming a calamarigrapher could come true.

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