Somewhere in the deepest, darkest reaches of the deepest, darkest oceans, a giant squid and a coelacanth are having one helluva laugh. “Humans,” they chortle, “are so clueless!” With the exception of the Kraken—currently shacking up in an Atlantis timeshare and not to be bothered—most of the giant squid and coelacanth’s seabound brethren are in constant peril of being poked, prodded, and, if it’s around dinner time, eaten by pesky scientists. But until some relatively recent and miraculous sightings, the coelacanth (pronounced: see-la-kanth, pictured) played a near-flawless game of hide-and-seek for more than 70 million years. In fact, the coelacanth was so good, scientists assumed the aquatic dinosaur was extinct. In A Fish Caught in Time: The Search for the Coelacanth, British writer Samantha Weinberg details the fevered chase by marine biologists and cryptozoologists to find—and now preserve—a prehistoric superstar believed to be the first fish to crawl from the oceans. Considered by Weinberg the “Indonesian king of the sea,” the five-foot-long coelacanth is equipped with limblike fins, and a floppy tail and frequently enjoys standing on its head (really). But much like his pal the giant squid, the coelacanth remains quite adept at not being found, and questions about the curious creature far outweigh answers. Weinberg spins her scale-y tale at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12, at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s Ring Auditorium, 7th and Independence Avenue SW. $15. For reservations call (202) 357-3030. (Sean Daly)