Last week a 12-metre, 200-kilogram giant squid was caught on the west coast of Tasmania. Scientists have been pickling the "near-perfect specimen" for display at the Melbourne Museum.

There are thought to be three species of giant squid in the world. Their only predators are sperm whales, which have to suck in a breath to dive for up to an hour to catch them.

Dr. Norman, a scientist with the museum, said that humans were unlikely to start hunting them for food because of ammonia pockets in their flesh that are used for buoyancy control. "You'd get giant calamari rings the size of car tyres, but they'd taste like floor cleaner."

More giant squid have been caught in nets since orange roughy fishing took off a decade ago.

....because Zorak wanted sun-bloated orange roughy on his pizza.


info from The Sydney Morning Herald, 08 FEB

With respect to the eyes, the 1998 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records claims that in 1878, an Architeuthis dux giant squid was found off Newfoundland that had eyes measuring a whopping 50 cm in diameter.

In the 1984 edition of the same book, there is some data on record giant squids. The 1878 specimen had a head/body 6.09 m long and tentacles 10.66 m long; it probably weighed around two metric tonnes. In 1887 a squid of a different species, Architeuthis longimanus (longimanus means long-handed), was washed on the shore at Lyall Bay, New Zealand. Its head/body measured only a measly 2.02 metres, yet the tentacles where 14.93 metres long!

In writeups beforehand it has been mentioned that giant squids eat whales. I don't think this is a scientific fact. It is known that giant squids fight with sperm whales, in self-defence probably, since their tentacles are often found in sperm whale stomachs, but it's unlikely that they really feed on whales.

Giant squid have an odd and not fully-understood method of mating. The males of the species have a large, muscular penis that acts like a hypodermic syringe.

The male and female squid mate face-to-face (or the squid equivalent of that). They grab each other and and the male starts stabbing the female in the arms with his penis. This places the sperm below the surface of the skin. Scientists are not currently sure what happens after that, but the female apparently takes the sperm out of her arms and uses it at a later date.

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