Monster of the deep! Beachgoers are stunned to find a 14-foot giant squid washed up on the coast of South Africa
- The 14-foot, 440-pound giant squid was found dead and washed up on the shore in South Africa
- These elusive marine species are rarely seen and only photographed for the first time in 2002
- This creature is dissected to find out what caused it to be washed ashore after the end of the COVID-19 lock
An incredibly rare deep sea giant squid with a length of about 14 feet was found washed up on the shores of Britannia Bay in South Africa, which shocked beach visitors at the unusual sight.
Eyewitnesses took scratching pictures of the washed-up deep-sea animal, showing the size of the 440-pound sea monster, which has a beak-like mouth where its tentacles meet.
Giant squid are extremely elusive, were never photographed before 2002 and were only filmed for the first time in 2006.
This makes the group, including Adéle Grosse, who shot the footage, very happy to have had such a close encounter with the rare monster of the deep.
An incredibly rare 14-foot giant squid was found on the shores of Britannia Bay in South Africa, which shocked beach visitors at the unusual sight
Jaw-drop shots were taken by eyewitnesses who showed the size of the 40 kg sea monster, which has a beak-like mouth where its tentacles meet
Giant squid can grow up to 43 feet long, and their terrible size is said to have awakened belief in the existence of the octopus, a mythological sea monster.
The material recorded by the eyewitnesses shows the intact deep-sea animal with a huge cone-shaped body, huge eyes – the largest in the animal kingdom – and eight extensive tentacles.
The giant beak-like mouth is used by the sea giant to devour its diet of deep-sea fish and smaller squid species, which it attracts with its strong tentacles.
It is very unusual to see a giant squid that lives more than 3,000 feet below the surface of the ocean, but we are learning more about them thanks to increasingly sophisticated technology and creatures washed ashore.
At the beginning of this year, the entire genome of mammoth creatures was sequenced for the first time and it was shown that it had a high level of intelligence not far behind a human.
The mysterious octopus, also known as Architeuthius dux, has eyes as big as plates and tentacles that snatch prey from 10 meters away.
Marine biologists from the Iziko Museums in South Africa were soon made aware of the giant squid washed ashore and are now keeping the 440-pound specimen for future studies.
Wayne Florence, marine invertebrate curator, said it was "pretty amazing to see it in the flesh" when asked about the creature.
"We had a lot of public interest and many people were surprised to find that squids really do exist!"
At this point, it is unclear what led to the creature's death, but the scientists hope to be able to examine the 14-foot squid as soon as the coronavirus' limitations wane.
"The cause of death may only be known if we dissect the sample after the COVID-19 lock is released," said Dr. Florence.
Giant squid are extremely elusive, were never photographed before 2002 and were only filmed for the first time in 2006
The footage shows the intact marine animal with a huge conical body, huge eyes – the largest in the animal kingdom – and eight sprawling tentacles
The sea giant uses its beak-like mouth to devour its diet of deep-sea fish and smaller squid species, which it attracts with its strong tentacles
“But the specimen was in very good physical shape, so I think we can rule out something like trawl damage.
"The sample is already in the museum's freezer. We took preliminary measurements and took tissue samples for DNA analysis."
He said the next step would be to involve an experienced squid scientist to dissect and document the creature.
This includes examining the genetic makeup and looking for a deeper insight into exactly what led to it being washed ashore.
After preparation and illustration, the squid is kept in ethyl alcohol and kept in the museum collection for a long time.
"We could even choose to exhibit this in an upcoming exhibition to the general public," said Florence.
HUGE LIQUID LIVE IN THE BLACK, ICE COLD, DEEP OCEAN AND FEEDING FISH AND SMALLER SQUARE
According to the Smithsonian, giant squids live in all the world's oceans, but not so much in the tropical and polar areas.
They live deep below the surface in "deep black, ice-cold water" with a depth of 500 meters to 1,000 meters.
And they are extremely elusive.
Until 2006, a giant squid had never been filmed alive, and much that is known about it is based on carcasses that were washed ashore.
The largest ever recorded, including the tentacles, is at a height of 13 meters, and scientists suspect that the creatures can grow up to 20 meters long.
Her eyes are the size of plates with a width of 30 centimeters each.
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