This Squid Emoji Might Be Cute, But It's Really Annoying Biologists


Tom Hale

Tom is a writer in London with a Master's degree in Journalism whose editorial work covers anything from health and the environment to technology and archaeology.

Senior Journalist

Apple's Squid Emoji: Cute but wrong. Apple via Emojipedia

From the outrageous scandal of the three-legged lobster to the bland bagel that angered New Yorkers, emojis are never far from controversy.

It turns out, there is yet another anatomically incorrect emoji that’s gone unnoticed for over two years. The ever-entertaining Monterey Bay Aquarium Twitter feed has pointed out that Apple’s squid emoji is actually "upside down". As the prestigious aquarium noted in a stream of shade-throwing tweets, the chirpy-looking squid has a siphon on the front of its face, just like “a weirdo nose”, when it should actually be behind its head. Psh, amateur mistake.


The siphon is a tube-like structure possessed by aquatic mollusks. Although it's used in a variety of processes, such as feeding, respiration, and reproduction, it’s also used by squid to thrust out a jet of water to propel them forward.  

“It would be like having a butt on your forehead,” Sarah McAnulty, a graduate student studying squid biology at the University of Connecticut, told Gizmodo.


"The way they move is with jet propulsion," McAnulty added. "So basically, they take a bunch of water into their mantle and then use their muscular torso muscles, kind of, to squeeze it through a little hole that's called the siphon, or the funnel."

The squid emoji was approved as part of Apple’s emoji collection in June 2016 and there's no word yet on whether they are looking to change it. Fortunately, the mistake was not made on any of the other rival platforms, such as Samsung, Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc. 


As mentioned, this is not the first time Apple has riled biologists because of blatant emoji errors. Earlier this year, there was “outrage” over the lobster emoji’s lack of legs. Following a digital petition supporting the creation of a new lobster emoji, the lobster was updated to have a full four legs, not three, just as nature intended. (In total lobsters actually have eight legs, but the emoji shows the lobster side on.) The controversy even caught the attention of Angus King, a US Senator from Maine, who tweeted: "Great news for Maine – we're getting a lobster emoji!!! Thanks to @unicode for recognizing the impact of this critical crustacean, in Maine and across the country."



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