September 3, 2014
Dr. Edith Widder spoke about glow-in-the-dark creatures and how they helped her lure the giant squid, “the kraken”, out of hiding, and are helping her to find and stop ocean pollution.
Marine scientist Edith “Edie” Widder, Ph.D., won international acclaim for her role in filming, for the first time, a giant squid in its natural habitat – the dark, bone chilling depths of the deep sea. Sailor’s stories of fearsome sea monsters and Norse legends of “krakens” rising from the depths to seize ships were long disbelieved until specimens floating at the surface and washed ashore left no doubt that such giants do inhabit our ocean’s depths. Many expeditions were undertaken to film the Kraken in its dark-sea lair but all failed until Dr. Widder proposed a different approach – one that focused on luring the giant in using flashing lights to simulate a bioluminescent jellyfish.
Dr. Widder is a biologist and deep-sea explorer who has been exploring the depths of the ocean for more than 30 years. She is a certified submersible pilot who has made hundreds of dives into the deep sea. Her research involving submersibles and bioluminescence – the light made by animals in the ocean - has been featured in numerous television productions including shows for BBC, PBS, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic television.