Live Giant Squid Washes Ashore In Spain

The giant squad washed up alive but eventually died. Photo via Ángel Guerra.

The giant squad is one of the most elusive and mythological species ever. The animal has inspired tales for centuries particularly with sailors. For years, scientists and amateurs have spent countless hours trying to film a live giant squad in its natural habitat.

The giant squid can reach lengths of 42 feet (13 meters) but yet fewer than a thousand specimens have ever been found. Almost all giant squid are found in waters off the coast of Japan but for the first time, a giant squid was recorded in the waters off of Spain as reported by a journal entry in Ecology.

The giant squid was discovered on Bares beach, the northernmost point of Spain. It was spotted floating around 10 feet  (3 meters) underwater still alive and attempting to swim. A few hours later, it washed ashore.  Researchers immediately determined that it was a immature female that weighed 230 pounds (105 kilos).

The squid was found with cuts and scrapes to which researchers believe that the cause of the giant squids eventual death was from a species of its own. The belief is that the squid became entangled with another giant squid, competing for food.

The marks and cuts on the female are consistent with a fight with another giant squid. Photo via Ángel Guerra

Blue whiting, a common food source for the giant squad, is known to migrate through the region of Spanish coast line. The whiting form giant shoals between 480 and 9800 feet below the surface of the water. The team believe the giant squid was brought to shallower waters hunting the shoal.

Very little is known about the giant squid due to its elusiveness and deep depth that it is typically found. It is unfortunate to see the death of such an amazing creature but the finding has led researchers to learn a lot about the species, where it lives, and hunts.




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