Click on the squid image above to learn more about this amazing animal.
Click on image for full size
Windows to the Universe original image
Mysterious Giant Squid Found on Tasmanian Beach
News story originally written on July 29, 2002
People do not often see giant squid, which live in the deep ocean. In fact, less than 50 giant squid have ever been seen. So when a giant squid was found dead on a beach in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia last week, it was a reason for excitement!
As the name implies, the squid are very large! The giant squid that was found in Tasmania is 50 feet long, and giant squid have been found that are up to 60 feet long. They have larger eyeballs than any other animal. Each eyeball is about 18 inches across which is larger than a person's head.
Giant squid live by themselves in the deep ocean, typically far away from land. They are Mollusks and are most closely related to other Mollusks such as smaller squid and octopus. All squid, even the small ones, are carnivores and hunt their prey, but only giant squid can hunt prey as large as whales.
The giant squid that washed up on the beach may be a new species, say scientists at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. The squid was taken to the museum, where scientists noticed large flaps of muscle around its legs, a characteristic never seen before. "It's basically like having a pile of muscles on your own body that nobody else has," said David Pemberton, chief curator at the museum.
The scientists at the museum will conduct research on the body of the giant squid and then they will put it on display at the museum for people to see.
Last modified August 6, 2002 by Lisa Gardiner.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology
, rocks and minerals
, and Earth system science
You might also be interested in:
The open ocean, called the pelagic zone, is the largest area of the marine ecosystem. It extends from the coasts to the middle of the ocean and includes all areas above the ocean floor. The living things...more
It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more
The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center at 2:19 p.m. EST, October 29th. The sky was clear and the weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit for the Unitied...more
A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more
Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials are demanding an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting...more
During a period of about two days in early May, 1998, the ACE spacecraft was immersed in plasma associated with a coronal mass ejection (CME). The SWICS instrument on ACE, which determines unambiguously...more
J.S. Maini of the Canadian Forest Service has referred to forests as the "heart and lungs of the world." Forests reduce soil erosion, maintain water quality, contribute to atmospheric humidity and cloud...more