A giant squid alarmed a paddle board rider when it approached him and his wife off the shore of Melkbosstrand, South Africa. As seen in a video, which was posted on Facebook, the creature swam around the man and his wife before wrapping its massive tentacles around 39-year-old James Taylor’s paddle board and prompting him to jump into the water. Although he appeared to be having fun with the cephalopod, Taylor later captured the squid, took it to the shore, and killed it.
As reported by Washington Post, James realized the giant squid was injured when it latched onto his paddleboard. In addition to missing several tentacles, the creature was reportedly “covered in what appeared to be seal bite marks.”
In an attempt put the cephalopod “out of its misery,” James Taylor dragged it to the shore and killed it on the beach. He then proceeded to dissect the rare creature.
It is unclear whether Taylor has a background in biology. However, he founded and currently works for a company called FanCam — which “which allows stadiums to take highly detailed pictures of fans in the stands to make giant composite images.”
James said he took several photos and videos of the creature in an attempt to document its existence. A professor, who specializes in large cephalopods, confirmed the squid in the photos and videos is, in fact, a giant squid.
As explained by the Smithsonian Institution’s Ocean Portal, little is known about the rare giant squid. Although they were thought to be mythological creatures, evidence of their existence, which includes photos and videos of the massive cephalopods in their natural habitat, have been recorded in recent years.
— Science Friday (@scifri) June 22, 2017
A majority of the recorded giant squids were found dead on the shores of New Zealand and the Pacific islands. However, they have also been spotted in the Northern Atlantic and near Africa’s southern coast.
— RT (@RT_com) June 22, 2017
Although rumors suggest the creatures can grow to lengths of nearly 70 feet, the largest giant squid ever recorded was closer to 40 feet.
The length of the giant squid that grabbed the paddle board is unknown. However, several scientists reportedly confirmed it was a giant squid using the photos provided by James Taylor.
[Featured Image by Patcharawadee Chaokruea/Shutterstock]