Creating biologically accurate emoji representations of animals and insects are an issue for developers at Apple and Google, and the most recent example is no exception.
Apple’s squid emoji, which was integrated in 2016, is on the receiving end of scorn from the scientific community following a tweet from the Monterey Bay Aquarium team. The team addressed a serious misdeed on Apple’s part, in an effort to bring attention to sea life in general for ocean awareness. The squid in question, seen in the tweet below, is actually upside down, according to the team. The siphon should appear behind this little fella’s head, not on his face.
| ー __ | Not even squidding
| ◉ ◉ | the siphon should
▱ /∠ be behind the head
＼ | rn it just looks like
／ ＼ a weirdo nose:
/ | ￣￣￣￣￣￣￣
— Monterey Bay Aquarium (@MontereyAq) December 5, 2018
A squid’s siphon is a “muscular structure located on the ventral surface of the mantle,” according to the Museum of New Zealand. It serves two primary functions: helping the squid breathe and discharging wastes from its body. It’s the latter function that really causes an unstoppable shudder to roll through your body. Imagine this poor, adorable squid having to discharge his body’s waste on his face!
When the mantle expands while the squid is swimming through the water, it allows the cephalopod to breathe, pumping water over its gills. The mantle then contracts, which excretes waste from the squid’s body. The squid can also use the siphon to propel its way through water backward. Again, that sounds like a wholly unpleasant ordeal if the siphon is located directly above the squid’s face.
This isn’t the first time that people have taken Apple to task for its animal and insect emoji errors. The octopus emoji only has four arms, for example, while an earlier form of the lobster emoji only featured six legs instead of the anatomically correct eight.
It seems unlikely that Apple will fix this error two years later, but The Verge has reached out to Monterey Bay Aquarium’s team to find out why they waited two years to bring this important issue to light.