It’s not every day that you get to see a large squid up close. That’s why beachgoers in South Africa were astounded by what they saw.
It was a carcass of a giant squid discovered by people at Long Beach in the town of Kommetjie. According to Alison Paulus, founder of Volunteer and Explore (a wildlife conservation group) and a resident of Cape Town, the body measured 7.2 feet(2.2 meters) and its tentacles stretched about 11.5 feet (3.5 meters).
Giant squids are one of the most evasive creatures on Earth. They live in the depths, between one thousand to three thousand feet.
Moreover, they don’t often rise to the surface. For hundreds of years, scientists were only able to gain information about these animals through
their carcasses that are either washed ashore or within sperm whale bellies.
According to National Geographic, it was in 2004 when people captured the first pictures of a living giant squid. It was taken 2,950 feet under the North Pacific Ocean.
While the sight of a giant squid on the shore of South Africa is rare, it is not people have encountered such a sight before. In 2020, a baby giant squid was found.
Now, let’s take a look at the pictures seen by the beachgoers.
A giant squid on shore is something people don’t often see.
A kid looks at the squid with wonder. He’s so lucky to have seen such a sight.
Some people who saw the squid believed it was injured by an engine propeller.
Samples were also gathered for the Iziko Museums of South Africa’s natural science history collection
The event made some marine enthusiasts confused. It’s supposed to be living in the depths, yet it reached the shore.
It disappointed Paulus that the squid didn’t make it to the museum as a whole.
Still, he and his family were thrilled when they saw it still intact. Her two young sons are also wildlife enthusiasts so they immediately hurried to the scene.
Let’s learn more about the giant squid.
Giant squids are called “giant” for a reason. The longest one discovered was around 43 feet long (13 meters) and weight almost a ton.
But sometimes, reports could exaggerate the size of these creatures. That’s because their tentacles tend to stretch or fall off.
To determine the actual size of the giant squid, scientists generally consider the mantle length. They can potentially get that big, so you’d think that spotting one would be easy.
But since they live in the depths, consider yourself lucky if you do see one washed ashore. In case you see a giant squid or any other rare animal, make it your priority to report it to the authorities while you admire the sight.
Don’t do the same thing as the locals did by taking some parts of it. Who knows, keeping it intact might help the experts discover something new about the creature.