From the genus Magnapinna, the Bigfin Squid's long tentacles can grow up to four and six meteres (13-29 feet). Their purpose? Scientists speculate that they run them along the sea floor to snatch prey.
1 yard of patterned fabric (I suggest a polka dot-type pattern so it looks like suction cups)
1 medium piece of black felt, 1 medium piece of white felt (for the eyes)
white thread, black thread and thread of the same color as the felt you’re using
about 5 lbs. of stuffing
a couple big sheets of paper to draw your pattern
You can find many of these things down at the many places on Fabric Row, on 4th Street between Bainbridge and Catherine. Pearl, at 417 South Street, sometimes has stuffing if you can’t find any.
First, you need to draw out your patterns. Here’s a basic template to get you started, although most of the measurements are reasonably fudgeable. If in the likely event you don’t have any four-foot-long pieces of paper lying around, just tape a few pieces together.
Once you’ve drawn out your eight patterns, it’s time to cut the fabric. Pin the pattern to the fabric, laid flat, and cut out the following, leaving a half an inch or so of extra fabric around the edge of the pattern:
FOR THE ARMS: 8 felt and 8 fabric cutouts of piece 1
FOR THE, UH, LONGER ARMS: 2 felt and 2 fabric cutouts of piece 2
FOR THE BODY: 2 felt cutouts of piece 3
FOR THE FIN: 4 felt cutouts of piece 4
FOR THE HEAD: 1 felt cutouts of piece 6
FOR THE EYES: 2 white felt cutouts of piece 7 and 2 black felt cutouts of piece 8
So now you’ve got all your pieces ready, it’s time to start sewing them together. I did mine by hand because my sewing machine is busted and I get a kind of Zen buzz from sewing by hand, but if you have a non-busted one I recommend that you use it as it will be MUCH EASIER. You’re going to be sewing everything with the nice side of the fabric facing in, then turning it inside out to stuff it.
THE ARMS: Pin together one patterned fabric piece 1 and one felt piece 1 (with the nice sides facing the inside). Sew down around the U-shape and back up, leaving the top open. Then turn the arm inside out, stuff it (it’s easiest to do both of these things if you sort of scrunch it up like you’re trying to put on a pair of tights, excuse the non-dude-friendly reference) and sew the top closed. Do the same for the other seven arms and rejoice in the fact that this is the most tedious part. Same deal with the two long arms, they’re just harder to stuff.
THE FINS: Pin together two of your piece 4s and sew together the curvy outer edge. Turn the piece inside out, so the seam you just sewed is on the inside, and start sewing up the other side, stuffing gradually as you go along. You should end up with a triangle-ish puffy thing. Repeat for the other two piece 4s.
THE BODY: Put down one piece 3, then place the two fins you have down with the point up and the curvy side pointing in, then make a sandwich by putting the other piece 3 down on top. Pin it all together and sew around the edges with the two fins still inside, as shown. Turn it inside out and move on to…
THE HEAD: So take piece 6 and the ten arms you’ve already done. Lay the arms, fabric side facing you, out with the arms’ top seams in a line half an inch from the top of piece 6. The order should be arm arm arm arm BIG ARM arm arm arm arm BIG ARM. The legs should be almost entirely covering piece 6. Pin them in place and sew a straight line through the individual legs seams to attach the legs to piece 6.
When you pick up the other side of piece 6, you now have something resembling a really weird untied hula skirt. Sew together the two 9-inch ends of piece 6 with the fabric side of the arms on the outside, and keep it inside out for the moment.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER: Fit the open end of the body through the arms (still fabric side facing out) and pull the edge all the way through the felt cylinder so it’s even with the edge that DOESN’T have arms attached to it. Sew around the diameters of the head cylinder and the body cylinder to attach them, then pull the legs down over the head and you’re almost done!
Stuff the body, then seal it off by sewing piece 5 over the open end (even if you do have a functional sewing machine, you’ll probably have to do this part by hand).
THE EYES: Sew the black circles on the white circles and whipstitch the eyes onto the head. You do this last because you can’t tell where they’re going to end up on the end product if you put them on before stuffing the body.
A suction cup, also sometimes known as a sucker, is an object that uses negative fluid pressure of air or water to adhere to nonporous surfaces and in the process creates a partial vacuum. They exist both as artificially created devices, and as anatomical traits of some animals such as squid and octopuses.
The working face of the suction cup has a curved surface. When the center of the suction cup is pressed against a flat, non-porous surface, the volume of the space between the suction cup and the flat surface is reduced, which causes the fluid between the cup and the surface to be expelled past the rim of the circular cup. When the user ceases to apply physical pressure to the centre of the outside of the cup, the elastic substance of which the cup is made tends to resume its original, curved shape. Because most of the fluid has already been forced out of the inside of the cup, the cavity which tends to develop between the cup and the flat surface has little to no air or water in it, and therefore lacks pressure. The pressure difference between the atmosphere on the outside of the cup, and the low-pressure cavity on the inside of the cup, is what keeps the cup adhered to the surface.
The length of time for which the suction effect can be maintained depends mainly on how long it takes for fluid to leak back into the cavity between the cup and the surface, equalizing the pressure with the surrounding atmosphere. This depends on the porosity and flatness of the surface and the rim of the cup.
Artificial suction cups are believed to have first been used in the 3rd century, B.C., and were made out of gourds. They were used to suction “bad blood” from internal organs to the surface. Hippocrates is believed to have invented this procedure.
Biomedicalephemera is getting their sass on this afternoon.
Ma’am, I am ALWAYS sass. My “informativeness”, and my “factual knowledge”, is pretty much my sassiness and insanity cloaked in the veils of scholarship.
…that said, don’t take my “sassiness” as disrespectful. I love for people to learn above everything. But sometimes people are weirdos, and I love them for it, but still call them out for their bizarre comments and odd notes, and like to poke at them, as my friends poke at me.
Parental instincts aren’t exactly common place in the invertebrate world. Squid typically die after spawning, leaving orphaned squidlets to fend for themselves in the big bad ocean. But as in all of biology, there are exceptions.
Check out this incredible image of a mama squid tending to her (approx. 360) eggs — only the second species of brooding squid to be discovered, ever!
Man, the deep sea is cool. Cephalopods are also cool.
A glass squid, named for its nearly transparent body, cruises the deep, dark waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean. The light organs in the squid’s eyes and arms are called photophores—and they may serve as lures to help it to locate mates in the inky depths.