Al McGlashan, a big-game fisherman and Daily Telegraph columnist, got the highlight of his career last Friday when he accidentally discovered the carcass of a thirteen-foot squid near New South Wales, Australia.
ABC reports that McGlashan explained why the find was huge, saying:
“They’re sort of one of those mythical things. You hear those stories about ancient mariners getting attacked in their boat… and you only hear about the very occasional one being washed up down in Tassie.”
He also explained, according to The Telegraph, that:
“It must have died not that long before we found it because it didn’t smell at all and its colours were still strong – most giant squid remains are smelly and rotten and just off-white by the time someone finds them.”
Unfortunately, they do not know how the massive creature died, because Al was unable to drag it into his boat for an autopsy, due to the sea creature’s weight. He and his crew were, however, treated to another interesting spectacle, when a large blue shark decided to feed on the giant squid’s remains.
Mandy Reid, an Australian Museum squid specialist, told The Telegraph that giant squid can reach up to 13 m (or about 50 feet), and only live for about a year, making this one small in comparison to a full-grown adult. She also stated:
“Most squid only live for a year, they grow extremely quickly, but there is also a chance that it has been attacked by a sperm whale. Sperm whales are far bigger, heavier and faster in the water – the giant squid are quite slow – so the whale generally wins.”
Dr. Reid believes that the giant squid met its end at the hands (or teeth) of a sperm whale.