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Real-Life Kraken: Anatomy of a Monster

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water
by Gelo Gonzales | Sep 10, 2013
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Animal Planet
has something special for those who mark the calendar for Discovery Channel’s ratings-monster, Shark Week. It’s called MONSTER WEEK.

For an entire week, Animal Planet will have a special two-hour block every night that features stories about some of the world’s most legendary and mysterious creatures. It started last Sunday, September 8, 9 p.m. and will end on the 13th, a Friday (while some shows will last for four weeks/four episodes). A poetic ending, wouldn’t you say?

The week-long special packs a toothy lineup featuring nightmarish creatures from the classic great white shark to mythological mermaids to something that’s close to home, Lolong the giant croc.

Swimming With Monsters With Steve Backshall (Mondays at 9 p.m.) has the extremely courageous Steve swimming with hippos, great whites, and anacondas. Mermaids: The New Evidence (Tuesday, 9 p.m.) is a sci-fi special that asks the question: “Could mermaids be real?” In Man-eating Super Squid (Wednesday, 9 p.m.) a group of researches hunt for the voracious, intelligent, two-meter-long Humboldt squid, nicknamed the Diablo Rojo (“red devil” in Spanish).

                                            Jose was just dying for some adobong pusit that night

Other man-eating beasts such as pet-pythons-turned-man-murderers are featured in Devoured: Man-Eating Super Snake Returns (Thursday, 9 p.m.) while the Philippines’ very own Lolong is featured in Man-Eating Super Croc (Friday, 9 p.m.). Rounding up the list of these shows that could double as B-movie creature features are Biggest and Baddest (Mondays at 10 p.m.), Lost Tapes (Thursdays at 10 p.m.), and River Monsters: Lair of Giants (Friday, 10 p.m.).

                         Apparently, this is how real-life mermaids would look like. Thank God for Disney Ariel!

The centerpiece of MONSTER WEEK however is Legends of the Deep: The Giant Squid. Heard of the Kraken? The “Architeuthis,” as scientists call it, is the real-life version of that. And the show will feature the first-ever footage of the elusive beast in its natural habitat. In this case, the natural habitat is located 530 meters below the sea surface and 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo.  

The massive predator, which can grow to lengths of 18 meters, is extremely hard to find. It took the show’s team 10 years—and two deep-sea submersibles, ultra-sensitive HD cameras, bio-luminescent lures, and secret squid attractants—to finally catch the creature on tape. Now, we all get to see just what Jack Sparrow had to deal with. Catch it on its encore on Saturday, September 14 at 9 p.m.

                                                      "Don't mind me, human. I'm just looking for Nemo, too"

While scientists still have much to know about the said animal, there are a few things that we’ve already figured out about it. Click on the next page to see our visual guide to this swimming colossus. Because if the giant squid turns out to be some prototype Kaiju, it pays that we know a thing or two about it!

Schedules for the shows listed here are also posted on the next page.

NEXT: Anatomy of a Kraken

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