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How to Capture a Giant Squid

Getty Images
Getty Images

For fishermen, size matters. And if you really, really want a catch to brag about, you’re going to need to snag a giant squid. They can top four stories in length and weigh 600 pounds. Despite being one of the largest critters in the sea, they're nearly impossible to find. It took scientists years to finally snap a photo of Architeuthis dux alive in its natural environment, before they finally pulled it off in 2004. Get your hands on one, and you’ll have a tale that earns you a free beer in any sailors’ bar in the world.

1) Visit Newfoundland

Giant squid have been washing up on the East Coast for centuries, with many crashing ashore near Newfoundland. If you’re not keen on visiting Canada, the squids seem to prefer temperate waters, avoiding the tropics and the poles, with the Gulf of Mexico and Chichi Island near Japan also proving to be hotspots.

2) Follow That Whale

Bring out your inner Ahab and go on a quest for a great whale. The sperm whale is the giant squid's mortal enemy—where there are whales, there may be squid. If you can, check the whale’s face for battle scars. Pockmarks are telltale signs that it tussled with a squid. (The behemoth’s suction cups are lined with dozens of barbed teeth.)

3) See the Light

In 2012, a scientist used a light-up glass orb to capture the massive cephalopod. Dropped into the ocean and tethered to a 2000-foot long rope, the orb mimicked the atolla jellyfish, which puts on a blue light show when attacked. The bioluminescent bait proved to attract all sorts of squid, and it helped Widder snap five pictures of the giant.

4) Hush!

Even though they’re enormous, squids are still skittish, and submersibles with buzzing hydraulic engines may scare them off. But with silent electric thrusters, you can sneak up on them. That’s how a squid expert caught some impressive HD shots in 2012. And when you’ve finally captured the giant squid, move up a level and search for its even larger cousin, the Colossal Squid.

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Well, if the promise of the world’s biggest calamari doesn’t make you salivate, maybe the promise of a cold refreshing beer will? Just set your course for the closest fridge and crack open a Dos Equis.

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How to Cross a River Without a Bridge

Need to cross a roaring river? It’s always best to find a bridge, but if you absolutely must make it to the other side on your own, a few easy steps can keep you high and relatively dry.

1. Scout Around

Invest a little time in finding the best place to make your crossing. Avoid bends in the river, where water whips around the fastest. Once you find a suitable spot, walk downstream a few hundred feet to make sure there aren’t any hazards. It’s always good to know about the pesky 30-foot waterfall around the bend.

2. Don’t Be Narrow-Minded

They look tempting, but narrow crossings can be the most dangerous—they’re often the deepest part of the river. Look for the widest section instead. Keep an eye out for mild ripples—which are safe to cross—and avoid whitecaps, which can be treacherously slippery.

3. Ditch Your Duds

If the water will reach your knees, strip down to your skivvies - your pride isn’t worth getting hypothermia from wet clothes. Even if the river is shallow, remove your socks and put on a second pair of shoes if you have them. If you’re backpacking, unbuckle your front straps so you can quickly slip out of your pack if you fall.

4. Shuffle Up

Face upstream, lean into the current, and move across the river with shuffling sidesteps. You’re less likely to fall while sidestepping since you don’t lift your feet as high. If you’re with a group, link arms. The technique creates more contact points with the streambed and gives everyone a more solid footing.

5. Become a Bump on a Log

If the rapids are too fast, shuffling across may be a bad idea. Look for a log that spans the whole river instead. But don’t walk on it! Wet wood can be dangerously slippery. Instead, straddle the log and scoot along until you reach the other side.

6. Float Away

In situations where the river is deep but the current isn’t very swift, a football or soccer ball can be a handy improvised flotation device. Tether it to your wrist and grab on when you get tired of swimming. Or hug it with one arm as you sidestroke for extra buoyancy.
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Once you make it to the opposite shore, dry off and toast your successful crossing with a round of Dos Equis.


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