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Giant Squid Tentacle Architeuthis dux

Invention of Teuthus

This title is under the Peabody Collection

The Opening Line

Aristotle killed the big lump of a sea-snake with an imaginary harpoon gun, in the sight of his beloved friend Euthyphro, who know sat glaring at the monster with disbelieving grief. All was now silent. The two remained on the front deck of the ship, as the seas pulled the victim into the deep abyss. Marks of ring scar bumps have been imprinted on the poor companion’s hand, whose owner ironically wept for the passing of his victimizer, and instead turning his attention into the body of the new aggressor, the monster who murdered. He had two oval black eyes, a sharp nose, and a mound of long unkempt hair, which was unfortunately no useful description given the general features of the human race, whose eyes have not yet reached the level of sophistication to distinct the personal features of a different species, albeit in this case too for the aggravator was no longer human in his mad form of terror.

‘My dear Aristotle, what have you done? Surely you cannot have intended yourself to be lodged in a suit before the divine King?’

‘What! Euth! I did what I did to protect you from that scaly beast of a sea serpent. But I don’t suppose you’d understand for a man who sent his own father to prison.’

‘In all manners, my friend. This is the same as that.’

‘And what are the charges? I endeavor to endear to the word of the wise man, namely yourself, for you have shown to be acting within the virtues of the high realm to have judged family with impartial eye. And since I am the reverse of a wise man, who had been judged for the corruption of the city’s youth, I entreat you to teach me thy art of justification.’

‘Ah my good friend. That is simply to do all that is pious and asway from deeds that are impious. Murder is impious, and if you had hitherto shot me in the chest and murdered me, that would have been impious. And since there is no distinction of relation heeded in the grand court, as in the case of a passer-by robber murdering his victim or a family member murdering an heir, the act of murdering the giant squid is akin to murdering me.’

‘But the examples you have described are different. There is no deliberate intent in the robber’s murder of his victim as his primary goal was to profit from his loss. There is no profit to be made from the death of his victim’s soul, as he can satisfy his need whether the victim was bound alive or drowned in the sop of a malmsey butt. The death of the royal family, however, is a deed committed in the perfume of desire for the golden crown.’

‘You have it the other way, Aristotle. What I was referring to was the distinction in species between the victimizers of the two crimes. The former was done by the rough hand of a pheasant commoner, while the latter was crafted by the silken palms of an ordained soul – two different species. Thus the crime thou committed is no different from the cold murder of a fellow human, for the death of a giant squid is akin to the death of one like me.’

‘So let’s proceed, shall we? Since you defined it that way, the crime now rests on the distinction of species. Let’s consider the beast we just saw. I mean, the beast in the ocean. What do you make of it?’

‘What kind or games are thou bringing us round, Aristotle? But fine, I shall answer it. It was a gargantuan terror! A best with ten legs dangling around as tentacles, over fifty feet in size and eyes the size of steering wheels! And I could smell its dank odor, coming from its maroon tentacles as its darkish grey body remained in the ocean!’

‘No, no, my dear Euth. I asked for a description of the creature as a whole. What you just gave me was an account of its individual parts. So I ask again – what is the defining element of this beast, as you so put it, as a whole?’

‘Uh… it is its way of moving. It does not move with any limbs, but with a different form of propulsion that allows it to glide in the water like a snake, but not exactly so. It uses its mantle or funnel to create an ejaculation of water which propels it forward, causing its tentacles to bunch up and curl before straightening out in the flight path of its trajectory.’

‘But that is only an example or characteristic of its behavior. I asked for a definition that encompasses the complete entity. Doesn’t an octopus move in quite a similar way of jet propulsion through the contraction of its mantle? So how can this entity be any different from the other? What is it that then separates us from the other animals? Apes have the propensity to walk on their hind legs in the form of a bipedal animal, and curious bears sometimes walk that way to peek into the private lives within human shelters. You have simply proved the contrary of what you intended to prove, for this universality only shows the existence of distinct species within beings of the same defining characteristic, as you put it. So the killing of a vicious giant squid cannot bear the same weight as that of a harmless innocent Euthyphro. Ah, do pardon me, young one. I seem to lack the very advanced knowledge necessary to cleave the discombobulating meaning of your judicial experience. Do help me.’

‘Hmph. Here we go. The giant squid is different from the human because it does not have the ability to shout snide asides and make captious objections to things you clearly know the meaning to! Why, who knows not the difference between man and foul? Even the milksop of a man who comes once a year to join the hunt of the lawn animals could tell that time of day with his whining, whey-faced eyes!’

‘There! You just proved it. So you mean to say there is indeed a difference between man and the giant squid. So that means the crime of killing a certain Euthyphro is not the same as that of killing a beast of the sea. If you would be so kind, I’d entreat you to stop wasting my time going round in circles. You are like a creation of my ancestor Daedalus, where logic goes awry and arguments run away and will not remain still to be examined.’

‘No Aristotle! It is you who moves the arguments, and frees the fixed and agreed-on ideas of the human race into such a stir!’

‘In that case, I am the greater Daedalus, for you deem me the ability to move not just my own, but the arguments of another. Yet I humbly seek no such glory, for that is reserved for the gods. Ah but at least, now we are going somewhere. How can an idea be fixed if one cannot define it for those below? How is one to follow the commands of the word?’

‘Argh you confounding one! Enough. Just stop this banter and turn around to take a look at that poor creature! What a mess of blood you have created, and it is all on your hands.’

‘Sure, my dear Euthyphro. I’d like to, but I only ask where is it?’

‘Wait. It was right there before we had this conversation. Has it gone under the pool?’

‘Now you can’t commit me of a crime with no evidence, little youngling.’

‘Fine. That dumb blockhead of an over-inflated obese sea balloon can rest in peace for all I care, for this is not worth the trouble! What a night, speaking with philosophers who merely perceive an end-goal in mind and only seek to find the best way to phrase it and make it right. Just like the mistakes and misnomers made in the course of phylogeny and taxonomy that has led to the namesake of this tuethus!’

‘Teuthis, my dear one.’

‘Whatever you say!’

‘Ha. Since teuthis refer to the typical smaller variation of this species, I shall name this non-existant large one teuthus, which will fill the worlds of legends to come, like the grand city of my invention Atlantis. After all, ones like me can turn night into day in the voice of my own reason, and one day, many more will come to give life to their own creations, and find something so genuinely new it inspires myth generations after.’


Aristotle is being charged for the murder of a great giant squid as it tried to kill the accuser Euthyphro himself. What does the defendant have to say?