300kg squid washes up on beach

 

A couple in South Africa got an enormous surprise while walking at South Africa's Golden Mile Beach last weekend.

Adele Grosse and her husband were enjoying their stroll when they came across a giant squid - weighing more than 300kg and spanning four metres - washed ashore.

"Oh my word, seeing it at first really took my breath away," Ms Grosse toldLive Science.

"Honestly, it looked like a majestic prehistoric animal."

Ms Grosse, who's from Cape Town, said at first, "I just wanted to get it back into the ocean. But on closer observation, one could see that it was dead."

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The rare giant squid specimen washed up on Golden Mile Beach in Brittania Bay on Sunday, 7 June 2020. Picture: Adéle Grosse © Iziko Museums of South Africa.
The rare giant squid specimen washed up on Golden Mile Beach in Brittania Bay on Sunday, 7 June 2020. Picture: Adéle Grosse © Iziko Museums of South Africa.

Ms Grosse said there were no signs the gargantuan creature had been attacked by a shark or other predator, adding it was unclear how it had died.

"We had big swells the night before, and it was my understanding that the swell washed up this beautiful squid onto the beach in the early hours of the morning," she said.

"We looked for bite marks or injuries and could not really find anything."

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Albe Bosman and Dr Wayne Florence prepare the giant squid. Picture: Dr Toufiek Samaai © Iziko Museums of South Africa.
Albe Bosman and Dr Wayne Florence prepare the giant squid. Picture: Dr Toufiek Samaai © Iziko Museums of South Africa.

After uploading images of the creature to social media, Ms Grosse got in touch with curator of marine invertebrates at South Africa's Iziko Museums, Wayne Florence.

Dr Florence and his team collected the squid, and are now storing it at a freezer facility until they can properly study its DNA and anatomy once the COVID-19 lockdown ends, a statement from the museum reads.

Giant squids are rarely seen alive - it wasn't until 2004 that one was seen in its natural habitat, and 2013 that the first video footage of it was published.

Last year, another crew filmed a giant squid alive for only the second time in history.

Originally published as 300kg squid washes up on beach

The beak of the giant squid. Picture: Dr Wayne Florence © Iziko Museums of South Africa.
The beak of the giant squid. Picture: Dr Wayne Florence © Iziko Museums of South Africa.
Dr Toufiek Samaai ​​​​​​holds up the beak of the giant squid. Picture: Dr Wayne Florence © Iziko Museums of South Africa.
Dr Toufiek Samaai ​​​​​​holds up the beak of the giant squid. Picture: Dr Wayne Florence © Iziko Museums of South Africa.

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