(Image found here)
This 1,091-pound colossal squid was frozen in a New Zealand lab after a fishing crew accidentally caught it near Antarctica in February 2007. Colossal squids (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) Also known as Antarctic cranch squids, are one of the largest, most elusive, and mysterious of the cephalopods (see this post for more on cephalopods). These massive squids are reported to measure up to 14m in total length with mantle lengths of about 2-4m (keep in mind these are only reported lengths). These amazing creatures were first identified in 1925 when two colossal squid arms were recovered from a sperm whale’s stomach. Since then, few specimens have been recovered and there is still very little known about this species. Colossal squids have eyes that measure about 25cm in diameter which are thought to be the largest eyes in the entire animal kingdom. They also have the largest beaks of any squid, which makes them a fearsome predator, along with the 25 rotating hooks found in two rows on the ends of their tentacles. Colossal squids,are a deep-water species, probably living deeper than 1000m which makes it very difficult for scientists to gather data on them (though juveniles have been found above 1000m to the surface). So far they have had to depend mostly on juvenile specimens caught by deep sea trawlers. Colossal squids have been found in waters surrounding the Antarctic, primarily south of 40°S. The sperm whale is a known predator of colossal squid in the Southern Ocean.
I swear, every single time I stay up way late and end up watching shows about creatures of the deep, it always makes me want to become a marine biologist. So many impossible creatures to be found, and so very little known about the deepest, darkest trenches of our own planet.