Squid Nite at Public Works!

Shark Week: well-known, beloved, cherished, the occasion for many celebrations and gatherings.

Squid Week: doesn’t exist. WHAT!? WHY NOT?!

Well, OK, “Squid Week” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. But they deserve it. Cephalopods — that is, “any member of the molluscan class Cephalopoda such as a squid, octopus, or nautilus,” according to Wikipedia — are some of the most amazing creatures on Earth. They’re completely bizarre — squids lack skeletons or bones of any kind, but possess beaks, like a parrot’s, made entirely of organic chemicals (no minerals, no metals) that somehow manage to be twice as hard and stiff as the most comparable manmade equivalents.

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Yes, that’s a squid’s beak, and yes it’s badass.

Meanwhile, octopi — who, again, lack bone structure of any kind — are able to squeeze themselves through a hole the size of a quarter, as this National Geographic video demonstrates. Oh, and they can change color, camouflaging themselves to match their surroundings, a process we still don’t quite fully understand.

And then there’s nautiluses (nautili for you sticklers). The most primitive cephalopods, nautiluses have barely changed at all since their first appearance on Earth some 550 million years ago. They also live slowly — they grow slowly, reproduce slowly, and their lifespan can exceed 20 years, an exceptionally long time for a cephalopod. And they’re cute. Sloths of the sea? Sort of!

Cute! Cuddly (kind of)! Sloths of the sea!

OK, so we’ve established that cephalopods are cool. And that “Squid Week” should be a thing. But it’s not. How about “Squid Night,” then? Come join us as we host a special squid-centric Science Friday … on a Thursday! Thursday June 22, to be precise. On this night, the long-running radio show, non-profit, and evangelist of all things science Science Friday joins forces with Atlas Obscura, an online magazine (and so much more) dedicated to all things science, to host the Cephalopod Movie Night, a celebration of all things cephalopod.

On offer will be four short documentary films, produced by Science Friday, dedicated to our underwater tentacled friends. There will also be hands-on marine science stations, where you can get your hands wet — literally — and come face-to-beak with these fascinating creatures.

We’ll have some real-life scientists on hand, too. Science Friday’s Executive Director Danielle Dana, California Academy of Sciences Richard Ross, and science writer Dana Staaf will be mingling with the crowd, answering your questions and telling stories.

 

Last but certainly not least, there will be all manner of tasty beverages on offer, including cephalopod-themed beer from Pacific Brewing Laboratory. Yum!

This special one-off is all going down Thursday, June 22. Advance tickets are available right here. See you next Thursday!