Russian fishermen recently filmed a giant squid that attempted to take away their catch. The video, posted to YouTube, shows the deep sea monster trying to eat a large fish the fishermen caught.
The massive bright red creature, much larger than its intended prey, is clearly visible above water in the video, with large menacing tentacles. It was close to devouring the fishermen’s catch before they were able to fend it off.
Giant squids are generally smaller than their close biological relatives, the rare colossal squid. Colossal squids have heavier bodies while giant squids have longer but lighter bodies.
Giant squids often measure more than 40 feet from the posterior fins to the tip of the tentacles. The largest confirmed specimen, according to National Geographic, was a monster 59 feet long, weighing nearly a ton. However, most specimens measure less than 40 feet long.
According to Leslie Schwerin, director and producer of the documentary film Monster Squid: The Giant Is Real, giant squids are believed to have the largest eyes among animal species. They need eyes with large surface area to capture every bit of light in their deep, dark watery environment.
“Its eyes are supposedly the largest in the animal kingdom. As big as a basketball perhaps. I mean bigger than my head, which is amazing to think about. And that’s so they can see in the dark.”
Sightings of giant and colossal squids are very rare. They are rarely found alive. Most specimens that marine biologists have seen were washed ashore dead. Some became entangled in fishermen’s nets.
An impressive specimen recently washed up a beach in New Zealand’s South Island.
It is believed that memorably frightful encounters with the deep sea creatures inspired ancient tales of sea monsters, such as the Kraken in Norse mythology.
Because they live in deep waters and encounters with live specimens are rare, very little is known about giant squids. Scientists were able to capture a live specimen on video for the first time in 2012.