Since ancient times, myths have been circulating among people about giant monsters from the abyss, thirsting for blood and flesh of traveling sailors. The unexplored depths of the ocean, which could not be conquered at that time, were the object and the main cause of inventions, tales and terrible tales related to its mysterious inhabitants. It is worth saying that even today nobody can say for sure that the water space of the planet, the so-called abyss, has been studied to the end. The ancient records tell how monsters with huge tentacles from the depths of the sea attacked ships and galleys, taking them to the abyss. Those who managed to stay after the attack alive very often embellished their stories about unprecedented creatures, attributing to the monsters fictional abilities and distorting their appearance. Because of all the above factors, it was almost impossible to establish with whom exactly the wanderers met.
Today, the situation has changed somewhat, and much has become known to mankind about some unusual inhabitants of the seas and oceans. In the article we would like to talk about the largest squid in the world, namely, to tell about their distinctive features, characteristic features of the species and to give interesting and reliable facts about the huge sea monsters.
Habitat of huge mollusks
It is known for sure that there are giant squids on the earth that live in the depths of the waters of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. Also these cephalopods can live in the seas, both in warm and cold. People have repeatedly managed to catch individuals, which could be called the largest squid in the world. Sometimes it even happened that the giant was screwed up the ship during its attempts to attack. However, when such events took place for the first time, mankind did not possess the necessary equipment to study the characteristics of the captured animal. Modern technologies allow to thoroughly investigate these living beings and provide complete information about them.
Giant architeutis and the first mention of it
One of the largest inhabitants of the ocean depths is considered a giant squid, or architeutis, as it is called in scientific books. Individuals of this species prefer to be in temperate and subtropical latitudes of all 4 oceans. Giant squids live at a depth of several kilometers and only occasionally float to the surface. The first mention of architeutis found in the late 19th century. During the next voyage of 1887, which took place near the coast of New Zealand, the sailors discovered a strange and frightening creature. It was easy to see him, because the storm waves of a huge mollusk just threw on the land. According to the data that the expedition was able to obtain on the spot, the size of the unusual find struck the imagination. The length of the monster's torso reached an incredible size - 17.5 meters, and 5 of them were only tentacles. The mantle of an adult individual was also by no means small - about 2 meters. Unfortunately, it was not possible to establish the exact weight of the sea monster at that time, but judging by the above parameters, it was quite large.
Successful attempt to explore the great inhabitants of the depths
The next specimen, named one of the largest squids in the world, was discovered in the Antarctic 120 years after the first mention of the sea monster. In 2007, the fishermen caught a deep-sea inhabitant, whose body reached 9 meters in length. Then the weight of the find was easy to establish, because fishing tankers now have all the necessary equipment for weighing the catch right on board. The giant squid surprised the crew with its dimensions, since its weight was just over 500 kilograms.
Currently, it is known for certain that architeutis is far from the only species of inhabitants of the depths that frighten humanity with its dimensions. Since time immemorial, there has been another representative of giant monsters of the cephalopod mollusk species, mesonihoteutis, on earth. This giant squid monster is considered one of the largest these days. It can be called a close relative of the Architeutis, only he is much more majestic. Maisonichoteutis is the only representative of its kind, because, unlike architeutis, its weight is somewhat larger: only the mantle of adult individuals reaches breathtaking dimensions - its length is equal to four meters. By the way, another name of the giant is colossal.
The contents of the stomach sperm whale, opened new facts to science
The first records of mesonichoteutis were made at the beginning of the 19th century. British zoologist Robson examined the tentacles, extracted from the stomach of the sperm whale caught on the southern islands of Scotland, and came to the conclusion that they could belong only to the aforementioned sea giant. In the future for many years, no information relating to cephalopod squid monsters has been reported.
Great luck scientists
After a considerable period of time after exploring the tentacles of the sea monster Robson, scientists found 4 eggs in the far Atlantic, allegedly left by mollusks. After examining their composition and origin, they came to the conclusion that the eggs really belong to the female squid of a rare species of mesonichoteutis. Scientific evidence appeared in 1970, that is, almost 50 years after the first Robson experiment. The characteristics and features of the preserved masonry were carefully studied by experienced specialists of that time. And 9 years after the research work, it was possible to catch an adult individual of mesonichoteutis. The size of her mantle in length was 117 cm, and it was the female of the largest squid in the world.
Bloodthirsty and terrible kraken: fiction or reality?
About the giant squid, whose history goes into the distant past, legends and now. Ancient seafarers told stories about sea monsters that attacked the vessel, covered them with their tentacles and carried away all life on the seabed. These mythical creatures at that time were nicknamed Krakens. Up until the end of the 16th century, they were considered fictional. However, after a while, humanity was convinced of the opposite, because the Kraken thrown onto the coast of Western Ireland was first found and later presented as an exhibit in the Dublin Museum. By the way, kraken is the largest squid in the world, which science knows today.
Distinctive features of Kraken
The giant clam differs from other oceanic inhabitants with a cylindrical head with something resembling a bird's beak. It is to them that he captures and grinds the prey. The eyes of the kraken are considered the largest compared to the organs of sight of all other animals living on planet Earth. Their diameter is 25 cm. The color of the creature varies depending on the mood of the spirit: from dark green to blood red. The largest squid in the world and its peculiarity in the form of a spinous tongue with which the mollusk pushes its prey into the stomach instills fear even in experienced seafarers.
Giants attack people
It is worth noting the fact that the captain of the Norwegian fishing tanker Arne Grenningzeter told quite recently to the society an amazing story that concerned the huge kraken. According to him, the giants are an incredible danger to people who have dedicated their lives to fishing, or simply those who love to be in the sea. The fact is that his ship "Brunsvik" was attacked several times by the aforementioned monster. The captain told about the tactics that the clam chooses to attack: he first floats to the surface of the water from the abyss, then for a short time accompanies the vessel, as if waiting for a certain moment, and then immediately emerges from the water and attacks the ship. Only due to the fact that the stupits of the cephalopod monster could not cling to the surface of the deck and the hull of the ship, the crew managed to escape and remain unscathed in an unequal fight.
If we talk about specific figures that relate to the size of the huge underwater inhabitants, and to answer the question about the size of the largest squid in the world (their body length), then it is worth to disappoint the seekers of such information. To date, science has not established any specific values. Experts only suggest that the length of the torso of cephalopod mollusks living in the waters of the oceans and preferring its very bottom, may exceed 50 meters.
Interesting facts about giant squid
There are several fascinating and real facts about the life of the huge and frightening inhabitants of the depths. We list only the most interesting of them:
- Currently known mammal that can attack one of the largest squid in the world (its name is Architeutis) is a sperm whale. In the old days and to this day between the opponents there were real fights, in which, as a rule, the sperm whale defeated. It was thanks to the contents of the stomach of a mammal that science managed to establish the very fact of the existence of a deep-water giant.
- The first photos of an adult giant squid were taken in Japan. An overgrown mollusk was found on the surface of oceanic waters and dragged ashore. Save the exclusive inhabitants of marine fauna alive. Squid died within 24 hours after removing it from the water. Nowadays, the remains of this creature are kept in the Japanese Museum of Nature and Science.
- The buoyancy of the largest squids in the world, the dimensions of which really amaze the imagination, is carried out due to the content in their bodies of a solution of aluminum chloride, which is less dense than sea water. Because of this property, which distinguishes it from other marine creatures that have an air bubble, the deep-sea giant squid is unsuitable for human consumption.
- The age of squids is determined by their beak.
- Unlike other deep-sea inhabitants, the brain and nervous system of squid are unusually developed and still remain a mystery and subject of research for scientists and specialists in this field.
- Despite their impressive size, giant squids may remain invisible to their prey. This is evidenced by the prints of suckers on the bodies of whales exposed to the attacks of these monsters. Scientists have proven that architeutis, mesonichhotoutheses and krakens lead a passive lifestyle. However, during the hunt for prey, they are active and resourceful.
- In anticipation of danger, the colossal squid releases a protective liquid, deadly to humans and other sea creatures.
- In one sucker, which is located directly on the tentacles of a giant squid, about 20 liters of water will interfere.
In conclusion, I would like to say that it does not matter at all what the world's largest squid looks like. The stories that the sailors told about the giant krakens go back to the distant past. Only the facts remain - irrefutable, reliable. But here's a paradox: some of them still remain a mystery for zoological scientists. Today, all we know is that giant squids are not fiction, but a reality that is covered with a veil of mystery.
The giant squid (architeutis) is the largest squid in the world. It can reach a huge size, the length from tentacles reaches 16.5 meters. It is the largest invertebrate animal on the planet.
The length of the body without tentacles is about 5 m. Females are somewhat larger than males. The weight of females is about 275 kg, the weight of males is about 150 kg. The giant squid uses a jet method of movement, drawing water into the mantle and slowly throwing it out through a siphon. It can also move at high speed, but this requires strong muscle tension. The giant one of the largest eyes among animals, the diameter reaches 27 cm and 9 cm pupil. Big eyes contribute to the recognition of animals by bioluminescent luminescence.
The meat of a giant squid is of no interest to humans. The fact is that, like other large squid species, its body contains ammonium chloride, which is lighter than water and necessary to maintain buoyancy. Therefore, the meat is not tasty and poisonous.
The largest squid in the world and its main enemy is kashelot
The main enemy of the giant squid is the sperm whale, which in most cases defeats the squid. With the same length, the weight of the sperm whale is much higher, because most of the length of the squid are tentacles, whose weight is not high. Nevertheless, architeutis can cause serious damage to the sperm whale. So on the head of the sperm whale you can often find traces of jagged chitinous rings, which are located on the edges of the suction cups.
Giant squid (architeutis) photo
Architeutis lives in all oceans, is found off the coast of New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Japan, Norway, Britain. In the tropics almost never occur. The main source of food for the largest squid in the world are other types of squid and deep-sea fish.
Fishermen haul aboard an Antarctic deep-water squid weighing 495 kg
Want to know everything
There is the so-called architeutis - a genus of huge oceanic squids, whose length reaches 18 meters in length. The greatest length of the mantle is 2 m, and the tentacles are up to 5 m. The largest specimen was found in 1887 on the coast of New Zealand - its length was 17.4 meters. Unfortunately, nothing is said about weight.
Giant squids can be found in the subtropical and temperate zones of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic oceans. They live in the water column, and they can be found both a few meters from the surface, and at a depth of one kilometer.
No one is able to attack this animal, except for one, namely, the sperm whale. At one time it was believed that between these two the most terrible battle was fought, the outcome of which remains unknown to the last. But, as recent studies have shown, architeutis loses in 99% of cases, since force is always on the side of the sperm whale.
If we talk about squid caught in our time, we can talk about a specimen that was caught by fishermen in the Antarctic region in 2007 (see the first photo). Scientists wanted to examine it, but could not - at that time there was no suitable equipment, so the giant decided to freeze until better times. As for the dimensions, they are as follows: body length - 9 meters, and weight - 495 kilograms. This is the so-called colossal squid or mesonichoteutis.
And this is possible, a photograph of the largest squid in the world:
Even the ancient mariners told terrible tales in the sailors' taverns about the monster's attack, which emerged from the abyss and sank whole ships, wrapping them with their tentacles. They were called kraken. They became legends. Their existence was rather skeptical. But even Aristotle described a meeting with the “big theeutics” from which the travelers who had plied the waters of the Mediterranean suffered. Where does the truth end and the truth begin?
The first kraken was described by Homer in his legends. Scylla, about whom Odysseus met in his wanderings, is nothing but a giant Kraken. Gorgon Medusa borrowed from monsters tentacles, which eventually transformed into snakes. And, of course, Hydra, defeated by Hercules, is a distant "relative" of this mysterious creature. On the frescoes of Greek temples can be found images of creatures that tended to the whole ships tentacles.
Soon the myth found flesh. People met a mythical monster. This happened in the west of Ireland, when in 1673 a storm was thrown onto the sea by a horse the size of a horse, eyes like dishes and many processes. He had a huge beak, like an eagle. The remains of kraken for a long time were an exhibit that was shown to everyone for a lot of money in Dublin.
Karl Linney in his famous classification identified them to the order of mollusks, naming Sepia microcosmos. Subsequently, zoologists systematized all known information and were able to give a description of this species. In 1802, Denis de Montfort published the book General and Private Natural History of Molluscs, which subsequently inspired many adventure seekers to capture the mysterious deep-seated animal.
It was 1861, and the steamboat "Dlecton" made a regular flight across the Atlantic. Suddenly, a giant squid appeared on the horizon. The captain decided to goad his. And they were even able to drive several sharp peaks into the solid of the kraken. But three hours of struggle were in vain. The mollusk went to the bottom, almost pulling the vessel along with it. At the ends of the harpoons were scraps of meat, weighing 20 kilograms. The ship's artist managed to sketch the struggle of man and animal, and this drawing is still kept at the French Academy of Sciences.
Вторая попытка взять кракена живым была предпринята спустя десять лет, когда он угодил в рыбацкие сети неподалеку от Ньюфаундленда. Люди десять часов сражались с упорным и свободолюбивым животным. Они смогли вытянуть его на берег. Десятиметровую тушу исследовал известный натуралист Гарвей, который законсервировал кракена в соленой воде и экспонат многие годы радовал посетителей лондонского Музея истории.
Спустя еще десять лет, на другом конце земли, в Новой Зеландии, рыбаки смогли выловить двадцатиметрового моллюска, весом в 200 килограмм. Самой последней находкой был кракен, найденный в районе Фолклендских островов. It was “only” 8 meters long and is still kept at the Darwin Center in the capital of Great Britain.
What is he like? This animal has a cylindrical head, several meters in length. His body changes color from dark green to purple-red (depending on the mood of the animal). The biggest eyes in the world of animals are at the Kraken. They can be up to 25 centimeters in diameter. In the center of the "head" is the beak. This is a chitinous formation, which the animal grinds fish and other food. He is also able to eat a steel cable with a thickness of 8 centimeters. Curious structure has the language Kraken. It is covered with small teeth, which have a different shape, allow you to grind food and push it into the esophagus.
Not always the meeting with the kraken ends in victory for the people. Here is such an incredible story wandering on the Internet: in March 2011 in the Sea of Cortez squid attacked the fishermen. In the eyes of people resting in the resort of Loreto, a huge octopus sank a 12-meter vessel. The fishing vessel was parallel to the coastline, when suddenly several dozen of fat tentacles emerged from the water towards it. They wrapped around the sailors and threw them overboard. Then the monster began to rock the ship until it turned upside down.
According to an eyewitness: “I saw four or five bodies that the surf cast ashore. Their bodies were almost completely covered with blue spots - from the suckers of sea monsters. One was still alive. But he was a little like a man. Squids literally chewed him!
This is Photoshop. In the comments of the original photo.
According to zoologists, it was the carnivorous Humboldt squid that lives in these waters. And he was not alone. The pack attacked the ship consciously, acted cohesively and consisted mainly of females. Fish in these waters is getting smaller and Kraken need to look for food. The fact that they got to the people is an alarming sign.
Below, in the cold and dark depths of the Pacific, a very intelligent and cautious creature dwells. About this truly unearthly being legends around the world. But this monster is real.
This is a giant squid or Humboldt squid. It received its name in honor of the Humboldt Current, where it was first discovered. This is a cold current, washing the shores of South America, but the habitat of this creature is much more. It extends from Chile north to central California across the Pacific. Giant squids patrol the depths of the ocean, spending most of their lives at depths of up to 700 meters. That is why very little is known about their behavior.
They can reach adult height. Their size can exceed 2 meters. Without any warning, they arise from the dark in groups and feed on fish on the surface. Like their relative octopus, giant squids can change their color by embedding and closing pigment-filled bags in the skin called chromatophores. Quickly closing these chromatophores - they turn white. Perhaps this is necessary to divert the attention of other predators, and maybe this is a form of communication. And if something disturbed them or they behave aggressively, then their color becomes red.
Fishermen who cast aside fishing rods and try to catch these giants off the coast of Central America call them the red devil. The same fishermen talk about how squid dragged people overboard and ate. The behavior of squid almost does not reduce these fears. Lightning-fast tentacles armed with prickly suckers hook on the flesh of the victim and drag him to the waiting mouth. There the sharp beak breaks and shreds the food. Red Devil Apparently giant squids eat everything they can catch, even their own kind. As a desperate measure of protection, a weaker squid shoots out an ink cloud from a bag next to his head. This dark pigment is designed to hide and confuse enemies.
Few had the opportunity or enough courage to approach the giant squid in the water. But one director, shooting a film about wild animals, went down into the dark to shoot this unique material. Squid quickly surrounds him, at first he shows curiosity, and then aggression. Tentacles grabbed his mask and regulator and this is fraught with air cessation. To keep the squid and return to the surface, he will be able if he, too, will show aggression and behave like a predator. This short meeting gave some insight into the mind, strength and
But the real giants are Krakens that live in the region of Bermuda. They can reach a length of up to 20 meters, and at the very bottom of the hidden monsters of 50 meters in length. Their goal is sperm whales and whales.
Here is how the Englishman Wullen described one such fight: “At first it was like an eruption of an underwater volcano. Looking through binoculars, I became convinced that neither the volcano nor the earthquake had anything to do with what was happening in the ocean. But the forces operating there were so huge that I could be excused for the first assumption: a very large sperm whale grappled in a deadly fight with a giant squid, almost as big as himself. It seemed that the endless tentacles of the mollusk entangled the entire body of the enemy with a solid net. Even next to the ominously black head of a sperm whale, the head of a squid seemed such a terrible thing that would not always dream in a nightmare. Huge and bulging eyes on the deathly pale background of the body of a squid made him look like a monstrous ghost. "
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Antarctic deep-water squid
The Antarctic deep-water squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) is also the largest representative of this order. Its maximum length reaches 10 m. It is distributed in the Southern Arctic Ocean. They live at a depth of 200 to 2000 m. The main enemies are sperm whales and Antarctic toothfish (reaches a length of 2 m and a weight of 135 kg, can be found at depths of up to 2250 m).
On February 22, 2007, New Zealand fishermen on the San Aspiring vessel caught in the Antarctic waters of the Ross Sea a huge squid, Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, weighing 495 kg and 10 m long. to New Zealand. The specimen is the heaviest squid ever caught in the world. He is currently in the National Museum of New Zealand "Te Papa Tongareva" (Wellington).
Antarctic deep-water squid in the national museum "Te Papa Tongareva" (New Zealand, Wellington)