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Thread: Dancing squid bowl dish in Hakodate

  1. #1

    Dancing squid bowl dish in Hakodate

    Video Description:

    Uploaded by richayanami on Sep 23, 2010

    8/24/11 - Video and account were down for a while due to a bogus copyright claim. I'm glad it's back up so I can share this weird experience with everyone!

    A seafood bowl I ate in Hakodate in Hokkaido, Japan. It had salmon roe and seaweed and some other things, with the highlight being the "dancing" squid on top.

    Dancing squid dishes seem to be at many restaurants in Hakodate, but this particular one may have been the only one with this bowl set. The place was located in the seafood restaurant arcade across the parking lot from Hakodate Station if anyone is interested.

    Edit: I added some information in a reply comment but it's now buried somewhere. The basic idea behind the sodium in the soy sauce causing the legs to move has been covered in the comments, but there's still some question as to whether or not it's officially "dead" at the time of serving. The brain is probably still in the body, but a significant part of its nervous system, the giant axon, I believe extends into the mantle, which has been cut. I'm not an expert on squids so I can't really come to a definite conclusion about that.

    Here's an explanation of a similar occurrence using frog legs:
    "SeaSparkles" "Spindrift" "Enakai" "Cuddlefish" "Confused"
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  2. #2
    I had to stop watching this halfway through.
    I think that the suffering of animals for entertainment purposes is pretty disgusting. I don't care if you eat meat or not.

    Spindrift, I am dissappoint.

  3. #3
    @Aela: The squid is dead. It's like how corpses can still make noise after death as air rushes out of them. Sodium (in the soy sauce) reacts with the nerves and makes them move. It can't feel any pain because it's not alive.

    Edit: In addition to that, I posted this video in this section of the forum specifically because it is shocking and to generate discussion. It wasn't meant for "entertainment" or I would have placed it in a section that would reflect that.
    Last edited by Spindrift; 11-27-2011 at 03:58 AM.
    "SeaSparkles" "Spindrift" "Enakai" "Cuddlefish" "Confused"
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  4. #4
    ... also the corpse thing making noise isn't because of salt. I just used that as an example of things moving or seeming alive after they are dead. Just wanted to make that clear.
    "SeaSparkles" "Spindrift" "Enakai" "Cuddlefish" "Confused"
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  5. #5
    Here's the same phenomenon with frog legs:

    "SeaSparkles" "Spindrift" "Enakai" "Cuddlefish" "Confused"
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  6. #6
    Yeah, everyone keeps bringing up those frogs legs. I don't wanna see it. I get no enjoyment in seeing dead animal carcasses dance for the enjoyment of a spoilt and privileged society.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
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    "Silence is beautiful, not awkward. The human tendency to be afraid of something beautiful is awkward."

  8. #8
    @Aela, you're right. For the majority of the 2 million+ viewers this video has, it was probably watched for entertainment.

    But I don't think it is fair for you to condemn the "privileged" society when you are also a member of it and reap the benefits of it. I completely understand that the video of this particular extravagant chemical reaction upsets you, but there are, and excuse the pun, "bigger fish to fry". For example, being upset with dolphin shows and animal entertainment would probably be much more worthwhile as they are actually harmful to the animals. If this video grosses you out, then that's what it did, not because it was some intricately contrived cruelty, designed to extenuate the abomination that is humankind. I know that the argument of "there are worse things out there" isn't necessarily the best to use, but a neurologically stimulated dead squid really isn't important at all, in the large scheme of things. It just seems that way because it isn't perceived as 'normal" or "expected". It's like how school kids have to dissect dead frogs and cats for their high school/secondary school credit (I had to dissect a squid for my class). The squid in this video gets eaten. It's dead. It's arguably much more humane than what a cat does to mice it catches (cause it to have heart attacks before eating it).

    Things humans do with dead things:
    - Kill them and wrap tinsel and lights around them while singing songs (Christmas trees)
    - Hang removed animal heads on a wall to use as decor
    - Use them as glue
    - Use them as paint and wallpaper
    - Use them for oil and to drive cars with (fossil fuels are made from dead organisms that are just very old, after all)
    - Kill them to write stuff on (paper)
    - Put them in perfume
    - Study them
    - Make wigs out of them
    - Make clothes out of them
    - Smear them over our bodies (many soaps are made from animal glycerol)

    Eating them seems really straightforward in comparison.

    If you like, you could think of it this way. Since there is a video online, accessible to anyone who has an internet connection, at least all these viewers won't go to the restaurant and order one for themselves now. If they were to watch it online, only one squid dances, verses an extra potential 2 million. Which would you prefer? 2 million dancing squid or just just 1? Also the human custom of dressing dead people up to look like they are still alive in open caskets? Same deal, really. Both organisms are dead, they just seem alive. Yet one is a custom for respect and the other is to prepare for digestive consumption.

    ... I find this a little amusing because if I were to throw up a video with no commentary from me, of dolphins being tortured or sharks having their fins cut off, I would probably be applauded for spreading awareness. Yet when I posted this, also without commentary, I suddenly get condemned as if I was some sort of organizer for a dog fighting ring.

    And no, because I know a lot of people online use this argument, I'm not trying to force you to like it just because I posted it. I understand that the video is disturbing to you. I find the reasons you've stated to be thought provoking, so I am interested in participating in a discussion about this.
    "SeaSparkles" "Spindrift" "Enakai" "Cuddlefish" "Confused"
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  9. #9
    Uhmmm... I... I... Uhm... Wow. I'm fascinated and grossed out at the same time. Interesting, I didn't know that you could induce the nerves to twitch after death with simple chemicals.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
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    oooh man totally made me wanna barf. I think people watched it for the same reason we did- morbid curiosity. I wouldnt say it entertains people- more than people probably cant believe it's real!

  11. #11
    a squids brain is right behind the eyes, the mantle which is the missing upper part is the digestive system, so he is very much alive. From what i know about these sad little bowls is they cut off the mantle and rinse the squid is cold water as if to calm or stun the creature, whatever their pouring on him whether hot sauce or soy its very much affecting him which is why he is in the throes of death.

    Poor little guy, i wish i could make it all better
    Last edited by NewYorkMermaid; 11-28-2011 at 06:19 PM.

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  12. #12
    @Lanai: Cutting the mantle kills the squid. It's dead.

    Here are my sources - each has the explanation to why the phenomenon works:
    CBS News:

    Quote: "Some people find this disturbing or downright cruel. But it's worth pointing out that decapitation is one of the quickest methods of killing a squid. The squid is dead, as dead as the frog legs that kick and the chicken body that runs. Furthermore, the squid's death was a good deal faster, and its life a good deal more natural, than the lives and deaths of many factory farm animals."

    Can we move on now?
    "SeaSparkles" "Spindrift" "Enakai" "Cuddlefish" "Confused"
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  13. #13
    Yeah I think the high density of sodium in the soy sauce is activating the little sodium/potassium pumps in the cells since it is still fresh and the cells are still alive.
    Mermaid Shelly

  14. #14
    Senior Member Chesapeake Pod ShyMer's Avatar
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    In some places they'll serve live food to you. One of my professors from college used to tell stories about when he went to Korea and the food he encountered there. At one restaurant he ordered a salad- what looked to be one of the safer items on the menu. When it arrived he tried to pick up a piece but it burrowed under his lettuce. He didn't eat

    Some places offer live octopus to eat right at your table. In the video I saw they had trouble figuring out how to eat it- it kept escaping and crawling over the table.

    I think it has something to do with the way the tentacles grip at the inside of your mouth... I don't know. It doesn't sound appealing to me.
    I don't want to see my food still moving on my plate.

    I find the science of how the salt in soy sauce can cause muscles to spasm interesting, but not something I want to eat. I'd feel horrible trying.

  15. #15
    In my socially awkward wording: I find your justification reasonable and easy to identify with.
    Last edited by Spindrift; 11-29-2011 at 04:57 PM.
    "SeaSparkles" "Spindrift" "Enakai" "Cuddlefish" "Confused"
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