Colossal Squid!


Speaking of hugging your squid today, A colossal squid, Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, has been caught — it’s about 10 meters long and weighs about 450 kg. The place to go for all the information is TONMO, of course; I’ll just share some of the pretty pictures with you.


Sad to say, this beautiful beast is currently residing in the freezer hold of a New Zealand fishing boat, but at least it’s on its way to being studied by scientists rather than chopped up as calamari (every single news article seems to be mentioning that the calamari rings would be the size of tractor tires—they don’t bother to mention that tractor tires might taste better.)


  1. #1 Ichthyic
    February 22, 2007

    Part of the problem is that it is hard to capture the giants. They run deep, do giant squid.

    sounds like it’s time to start a satellite transmitter tagging program.

    With the cooperation of the fisherman, they could attach one and it would detach automatically after a while. Druing the time it’s attached, it typically would record depth, water temp, speed, direction, etc.

    the data WOULD be invaluable.

    The same thing was done with White Sharks in CA and it turns out they actually make it all the way out to Hawaii in some cases.

  2. #2 Ichthyic
    February 24, 2007

    But I don’t think they are a rarity.

    indeed, given that various populations of sperm whales focus on them as a prey item, they couldn’t be all that rare.

    In fact, some of what we know about giant squids comes from the study of sperm whale stomach contents and scarring on their skin from the toothed suckers.

    It’s just that when you live in the deep mesopelagic zone, this is a HUGE area (in 3 dimensions, no less), and there are little in the way of distinguishing physical features of their environment to focus on (no reefs, for example), so catching one is a difficult enterprise… unless you’re a sperm whale.


  3. #3 Ichthyic
    February 24, 2007

    I know that there have been times where researchers have tried to find Giant squids and sent a camera deep into the water the most they saw were very young giant squids I’m talking like the size of your fingernail if not smaller. Not one that is fully grown or adolescent age.

    actually, some japanese fisherman accomplished that task just last year.

    I’m sure the video is on the TONMO site somewhere, or you can just google it up.

  4. #4 tyler
    January 23, 2008

    thats a big beast!

  5. #5 Jacob
    January 26, 2008

    its funny how everything in the deep is bigger than anything on land or smaller than it, almost.
    and the giant siphonophore almost scares me 0_o
    look it up on google images if u dont know it (130 feet)
    anyways, thats one big squid!

  6. #6 Earthceuticals
    March 22, 2008

    Yes, that is one big squid. Saved for study, that is good I suppose. Could it have really been eaten if wanted? I wonder if it would have been edible? Maybe make animal food from it?

  7. #7 Eric Jones
    June 12, 2008

    Here is an update. Some cool pics attached.

  8. #8 chris
    July 31, 2008

    Colossal move:
    The colossal squid specimen will be moved from the formalin fixing tank to its new display tank on wednesday 6th August. We hope to have a webcam up and running from around 9am NZ time (early evening US time)- during the morning we will be examining the specimen with Dr Steve to determine what repairs, if any, need to be made to the rip in the mantle, and manouvering it onto a lifting cradle. The actual lift should take place around 2pm. Once in the new tank over the next few months we will be developing the display and lighting, while the specimen is mounted in the tank before it goes on display at Te Papa in early December.

  9. #9 chris
    July 31, 2008

    early evening tuesday us time that is….

  10. #10 john
    December 15, 2008

    Hmm… Looks scary,although fascinating isn’t it!? Well I have to choose whether fascinating or scary(shocked mode)?! You know what? You can make a novel(fiction novel) out of that!!!

  11. #11 Joshua D.
    December 15, 2008

    I agree to what he said a few minutes ago… By the way, nice idea you got in there John!!!

  12. #12 maddie
    December 24, 2008

    you need to stop looking for these things you are going to cause something bad the giant squid will revile its self when it is ready and squid is gross so stop catching them !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. #13 Sven DiMilo
    December 24, 2008

    the giant squid will revile its self when it is ready and squid is gross

    Worth repeating.

New comments have been temporarily disabled. Please check back soon.