For most of us, when we hear the word “squid” we either think of fishing bait or calamari. For Scientists, we can assume that they think of the Giant Squid– one of the largest mysteries of science.
To see a live giant squid is a privilege not many have had. Most of everything scientists know about the giant squid has come from carcasses hauled in from fisherman or being washed up onto shore.
They are the largest invertebrate on Earth. The largest ever found of the species measured 59 feet in length, and weighed a ton. The largest found (while fishing off the coast in Japan) while still alive was 24 feet in length.
Identical to other squid species, they have eight arms and two feeding tentacles which help them bring food to their beak-like mouths. Their eyes can grow to be the size of beach balls (about 10 inches in diameter). Having large eyes allows them to detect other objects in the deep depths of the ocean where other animals would see nothing. Their diet primarily consists of fish, shrimp, and other squids.
The giant squid maneuvers their massive body with fins and use their funnel as a propulsion system, which draws water into their mantle and then they force it out the back.