You'll never know what wonders float about deep in the ocean, unless you're a sea diver or if the creature washes up onshore. Adéle Grosse, from Cape Town, described her experience to Live Science on June 7, 2020, as she saw a wondrous and massive sea creature lying on the beachfront on Golden Mile Beach in Britannia Bay, South Africa.
She recounted how her first instinct was to bring the giant squid back in the water. But upon observing the creature, she noticed that it was already dead. She says the sight "took her breath away" and that it appeared to her as a splendid prehistoric creature.
The cause of the squid's death remains unknown, but Grosse speculates that the massive waves from the night before might have something to do with the creature washing up onshore. She says they examined for bites or marks on the beast but found none.
Grosse, who also runs the SeaLoveLight pages on Instagram and Facebook, posted a few pictures of the squid on social media. This caused her to connect with a curator of marine invertebrates, Wayne Florence, from Iziko Museums of South Africa.
According to a statement from the museum, they have agreed to have the giant squid's anatomy and DNA analyzed once the COVID-19 lockdown comes to an end. Until then, Florence and his crew are now storing the remains of the squid in at a freezer facility.
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Tales of the Kraken Come to Life
Well, this isn't really the same legendary Kraken as told in stories, but it's as close as it gets. Sightings of giant sea creatures such as this one, is very rare and happens only once every few years, says Michael Vecchione, an invertebrate zoologist at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.
The giant squid that washed up ashore was identified as Architeuthis dux, a carnivorous sea creature known to have a whole foot- wide eyes, the largest known oculars in the entire animal kingdom. Grosse estimated the creature to be more than 13 feet long and weigh over 660 pounds.
It wasn't until 2004 that a giant squid was spotted in its natural habitat. Furthermore, in 2013, the first video footage of the same squid was published. Moreover, another team was able to film a giant squid alive for the second time ever in history.
Mysteries Left to Uncover in the Deep
Scientists believe that there are still a vast number of unknown sea creatures lurking in the deep. Over the years, experts have only learned tidbits about the mysterious beings, including that they dwell 2,000 to 3,200 feet below the surface.
According to a study published in 2013, these regions in the deep are likely to contain more abundant food sources for the giants, including cuttlefish, octopuses, and other cephalopods.
Vecchione says that the recently discovered squid will be the 20th addition to the collection of giant squids at Iziko Museum. According to the museum, the largest squid in their collection measures about 30.5 feet long, more than twice of the newfound squid's length.
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