One of the most unique creatures you can encounter underwater on Bonaire is the Reef Squid. These strange colorful creatures tend to be found in the shallows around 20-30 ft/6-10 metres, hovering around soft corals or in mid water. If you are lucky you might spot a shoal of squid. This is when a group of them (up to 25 or more) arrange themselves in a line, organized from the smallest to the largest. Their sizes can range from 1inch/2.5cms to 12inchs/30 cms long.
As well as seeing these neat cephalopod’s, I bet you didn’t know you could communicate with them. Yes, you can learn to speak to squid! It only takes a little patience, time and of course the good fortune to find one who wants to talk.
Step 1- Find a Squid.
Step 2- Extend your arm out to the squid and remain still, while hovering.
Step 3- Begin to slowly wiggle your fingers.
Step 4- Begin to move your hand from side to side, playing the sunlight off your skin.
Step 5- Be patient and observe what happens.
Not only will they stop it’s retreat from you, it will begin to come closer. As it approaches, it will begin to flash its colors at you, which is how they communicate to each other. Squid fluency in just 5 easy steps! I speak squid whenever I get the chance, it’s just too much fun not too.
So, why does this happen? Well, Squid are very intelligent creatures and have very good eyesight. The wiggling of your hand, with the light playing off your fingers resembles a fellow squid’s tentacles moving and the flashing colors it uses to communicate with. By mimicking this, you are able to have a ‘squid-versation!’
The next time you see these guys hovering around, stop and give it a try. Who knows, you might swim away with a new ‘squidy’ friend and an amazing experience from a conversation you definitely had, but did not truly understand.
PS. Don’t try this with a Giant Squid. They are easily offended and they tend to speak in a more guttural dialect, which can get very lost in translation!!!!