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article imageGiant squid washes ashore in Cantabria, Spain (video)

By Anne Sewell     Oct 5, 2013 in World
Beachgoers got a fright when this monster squid washed on to the beach this week. Measuring 30 feet (with tentacles extended) and weighing 400 pounds, the squid carcass was pretty impressive.
The giant squid is known as an Architeuthis Dux and is, apparently, a rare find. They are the largest invertebrates on Earth and apparently normally stay at depths of between 1,000 and 3,000 feet.
Recent estimates put the maximum size of these squid at 43 feet for females and 33 feet for males from the posterior fins to the tip of the two long tentacles.
The monstrous sea creatures have spawned frightening tales through the years of sea monsters, including the legendary Kraken. Jules Verne's classic science fiction novel, “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” which was first published in 1870, mentioned such a monster squid.
A giant squid washed ashore in Cantabria  Spain.
A giant squid washed ashore in Cantabria, Spain.
The little that scientists do know about them comes from specimens that have washed ashore, and rarely is there an intact speciment involved. In this case, they have the whole squid, just missing one tentacle.
While scientists decide what to do with the squid, the carcass has been delivered to the Maritime Museum of Cantabria, where they will then decide whether to display or dissect it. There are, reportedly, only a few museums who have a giant squid on display, so it is hoped they will do so.
The giant squid was photographed by Enrique Talledo, who told GrindTV: “The animal died at sea and ocean currents brought it to the coast.”
“The squid was in good condition except one [tentacle] had been broken.”
Talledo remarked that the squid's eyes were "gigantic and almost lifelike."
According to National Geographic, Architeuthis Dux possess the largest eyes in the animal kingdom, measuring up to 10 inches in diameter (around the size of a beach ball). It is believed by experts that the size of the eye helps the squid to see in their dark habitat down below.
A giant squid washed ashore in Cantabria  Spain.
A giant squid washed ashore in Cantabria, Spain.
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