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Context

For reasons unknown a large, powerful company wants to engineer colossal squids to catch or kill sperm whales. They have tons of money to do this and even more resources.Just one thing...

Question

What biological and robotic enhancements can someone make to a colossal squid to let it catch alive or kill sperm whales.

Requirements

  • the enhancements cant take away the creature buoyancy
  • they cannot take away the squid-like shape
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  • $\begingroup$ Just attach some harpoons to it? $\endgroup$ – Sasha May 27 '18 at 19:37
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    $\begingroup$ Is this company also Russian and heavily into mind control? $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs May 27 '18 at 20:14
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    $\begingroup$ Why not just engineer a squid that is even larger? So large it eats whales... or captures them $\endgroup$ – Shadowzee May 28 '18 at 0:51
  • $\begingroup$ Why not release the kraken? $\endgroup$ – nzaman May 28 '18 at 10:38
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While it is known that sperm whales eat giant squids, there is nothing to suggest that giant squids don't occasionally get the better of the whales.

Consider that whales need to dive far below the surface in order to hunt squid, and hunting is necessarily a very energetic activity. Whales deep below the surface actively hunting squid will be consuming stored oxygen at a furious rate, and will need to come to the surface to breath again sooner or later. The squid, on the other hand, can live under the surface all the time since it can extract oxygen from the water through its gills.

So all that is really needed is for the squid to be able to grapple onto the whale with sufficient force to prevent the whale from surfacing, causing it to drown. Since whales generally outweigh the squid, and giant squids are probably limited by things like metabolism and available prey, the real key is probably to find a way to get the squid to patrol in schools so a whale will be overwhelmed by multiple attackers. In this regard the main difficulty would be to seed the ocean with enough food to allow the squid to remain in a school rather than being solitary hunters.

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  • $\begingroup$ they cant just kill them, they also need to capture some alive $\endgroup$ – Amoeba May 28 '18 at 1:29
  • $\begingroup$ Squid are top level predators, and at least some species hunt in schools (deepseanews.com/2012/06/coordinated-hunting-in-red-devils). Those whales are not picking helpless prey, but rather something that can and will also hunt them in return with success. $\endgroup$ – pojo-guy May 28 '18 at 13:12
  • $\begingroup$ The species which hunt in schools are generally much smaller than the Giant or Colossal Squid. So far as we know, the Giant and Colossal Squid are solitary hunters, and the largest ones are thought to mass 750kg. A Sperm whale can grow to mass 57,000 kg, so there is a rather large imbalance between the two. $\endgroup$ – Thucydides May 29 '18 at 0:47
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Giant squids have very large eyes that can be up to 11 inches across. You may consider having a bionic ability that scans and either hypnotizes, distracts, or something of the like to capture the whales. You can also arm the giant squids with ultra powerful tasers or something on the tentacles to knock the whales unconscious while bringing them to an underwater base or lab. http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-17365736

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    $\begingroup$ There are some strange theories about how sperm whales feed on their prey. With their vast brains, a science fiction theory could be that sperm whales uses telepathy to compel their victims to swim into their mouths. So possibly the sperm whales would hypnotize the squids. By the way there is no evidence that eyes are used by human hypnotists. $\endgroup$ – M. A. Golding May 28 '18 at 21:27
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The company apparently has unlimited resources, but are there any constraints on them at all? If not, there would seem to be a lot of options.

Deployable nets? Electric current, like electric eels? Mesmerizing color patterns, like cuttlefish? Baiting the whales with a chemical or physical lure but moving faster than they can catch, leading them into whale pens? Superheated or explosive chemical discharge, like bombardier beetles? Concussive blasts based on water pressure, like pistol shrimp? A paralytic or deadly toxin? A toxoplasmosis-like infection that makes whales attracted to capture areas?

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Considering that the intelligence of sperm whales is unknown but possibly roughly equivalent to that of humans, so that objective outside observers might consider sperm whales to be persons, what your company is planning seems to be very close to being murder or kidnapping and enslavement.

So I strongly suggest that your story end with the persons responsible for that program being arrested.

The first indication that colossal squid existed was body fragments in the stomachs of sperm whales.

The species was first discovered in the form of two tentacles found in the stomach of a sperm whale in 1925.[14]

Sperm whales are estimated to eat many thousands or millions of similar sized giant squid every day.

I think that there would be many practical difficulties keeping either colossal squid or sperm whales in captivity.

Marine biologists have often wondered precisely how sperm whales manage to feed themselves, and there are some strange theories about their methods, including having built in sonic death rays to disable their prey.

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