This Massive, 18 Foot Long Giant Squid Just Washed Up on the Beach in Kaikoura, New Zealand. I Went Down to Take a Look.
Scuttlefish writer Owen James Burke is currently rambling around New Zealand, living in a van (or soon to be) with a camera, surfboard and speargun in search of stories, waves and fish. We’re putting together a waterperson’s guide to the island nation, but meanwhile, we’ll be publishing stories and photographs, short updates along the way from the Yankee in Kiwiland. -CD
The southern giant squid (Architeuthis sanctipauli), ashore in Kaikoura, New Zealand’s South Bay on May 13, 2015. Photo: Kaikoura Marine Centre and Aquarium.
This week, yet again, a giant squid washed ashore on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island. There may be few other places in the world where giant squid have washed ashore so much as they have in New Zealand, but being the first shallow-water pitstop looking north from deep, cool, Antarctic waters, the east coast of the South Island is a likely place for such abyssal oddities to make landfall. But that still leaves the question: why?
Death and decomposition may not feature this strange, gargantuan creature in all of its grandeur, but I assure you, even in an ice cream cooler, it’s something to see. Photo: Owen James Burke.
Yes, those are teeth on their suction cups. Imagine thousands of tiny lampreys planting their jowls into your flesh and you have a vague idea of what it might be like to come under the attack of the giant squid. Photo: Owen James Burke.