Environment Forum

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…

April 29, 2008

A giant squid weighing 250 pounds and measuring 25 feet in length is prepared for exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History in this undated photo. The squid, which was netted off the coast of New Zealand in 1997, goes on display on October 12. PM/TBIt’s almost creepy watching this video of a colossal squid slowly thawing out in a giant tub at the Museum of New Zealand. If this were a horror movie, after all, it would suddenly start flailing around with its monstrous tentacles.

Researchers say that the squid, weighing 495 kg (1,090 lb) and caught off Antarctica in 2007, will be unfolded for study on Wednesday after it is defrosted. It is expected to be 6-8 metres long.

That could tell scientists more about colossal squid, rare creatures that are the world’s biggest invertebrates. Sometimes someone wanders into the video frame and you get a sense of how enormous the squid is.

So the video above is not just a curiosity that looks like a poorly stocked fish section in a supermarket with a broken freezer full of water. Japanese researcher Dr Tsunemi Kubodera shows on his laptop picture taken for the first time of a giant squid, the eight-metre (26-foot) Architeuthis, at the National Science Museum in Tokyo September 28, 2005. The images, taken in the deep sea at 900 meters (about 3,000 ft) off Japan’s Ogasawara islands September 30, 2004, are appearing in the journal Proceedings B of the Royal Society this week. REUTERS/Eriko Sugita

“This squid is a really nasty agressive sort of squid…a gelatinous blob with seriously evil arms on it,” the New Zealand Press Association quoted Steve O’Shea, a squid expert at the University of Auckland, as saying of a previous colossal squid in 2003.

“Without any doubt if you fell in the water, you could be shredded to bits by a colossal squid. It is the T-Rex of the oceans,” he said.

So if you thought Jaws was bad….

Comments
3 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Was the squid alive when it got caught in the net or was it already dead and just floated up and got caught in the net?

Posted by fenix | Report as abusive
 

Hi Fenix, the squid was caught by long-line fishermen in the Ross Sea near Antarctcia, and then frozen on the ship. So it sounds like it was alive shortly before being hauled aboard rather than just some dead rotting squid that just happened to get caught in the nets…though I don’t know if it was alive when hauled aboard.http://uk.reuters.com/article/wor ldNews/idUKWEL30773020080430

Posted by Alister Doyle | Report as abusive
 

…that should read “Antarctica”

Posted by Alister Doyle | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
  •