giant squid

Giant squid
A rare occurrence indeed! Watch as a giant squid is found on a Western Cape beach.

A giant squid recently washed up on Britannia Bay Beach in the Western Cape. After videos of the squid were shared rapidly on social media, various news reports about the giant squid started to appear.

It's reported that the squid was still alive when it was found, and can be seen moving slightly at various points in the videos shared by Maroela Media, but according to reports, those who found the squid were unfortunately unable to roll the squid back into the water. Richard Davies, who made the discovery on Sunday, 7 June, estimated that this giant squid weighed between 200 and 300 kilograms, and was measured to be 4,19 metres in length.



ABOUT THE GIANT SQUID

This "discovery" was actually a very rare occurrence. National Geographic says that the giant squid remains largely a mystery to scientists despite being the biggest invertebrate on Earth. The largest of these elusive giants ever found measured 18 meters in length and weighed nearly 900 kilograms.

However, their inhospitable deep-sea habitat has made them uniquely difficult to study, and almost everything scientists know about them is from carcasses that have washed up on beaches or been hauled in by fishermen. Lately, however, the fortunes of scientists studying these elusive creatures have begun to turn. In 2004 researchers in Japan took the first images ever of a live giant squid. And in late 2006, scientists with Japan's National Science Museum caught and brought to the surface a live female giant squid.

Giant squid, along with their cousin, the colossal squid, have the largest eyes in the animal kingdom. These massive organs allow them to detect objects in the lightless depths where most other animals would see nothing. Like other squid species, they have eight arms and two longer feeding tentacles that help them bring food to their beak-like mouths. Their diet likely consists of fish, shrimp, and other squids, and some suggest they might even attack and eat small whales.