We are all in for a treat today as we are heading to the dark depths of the ocean to learn about one of the largest living invertebrates on earth. The Giant Squid is a mysterious marvel of the underwater world and has caused their fair share of “Sea Monster” stories throughout their distribution range. So where is this range? In the ocean of course! Believe it or not, this generalized statement is pretty accurate as this widespread species can be found throughout all of the our oceans. A few of the hotter spots include the continental and island slopes around Atlantic Canada, Norway, Spain, Japan and of course the beautiful islands of New Zealand and Australia. See, I told you they can be found all over the world.
Deep Sea Dwellers
Although these magnificent creatures have captured the attention of humans over the years, they are incredibly difficult to study as a result of their inhospitable living conditions…well, inhospitable for us. The limited data we have indicates that these giant creatures can typically be found about 1000 m (3280 feet) below the surface of the ocean – deep enough that light doesn’t even bother going all the way down there. So what are these Giant Squid’s doing so far below the surface? Norma squid things like working, golfing, playing poker…you know, the usual. Oh, and they are also eating any deep sea fish they can get their tentacles on. Unfortunately for these fish, the Giant Squid is very good at using their two longest tentacles to capture their prey. What an eerie way to die.
A Day at the Beach
I find it interesting that the Giant Squid is known for having the largest eyes in all of the animal kingdom (tied with their cousin, the Colossal Squid) considering it is pitch black where they live. If you just said to yourself that perhaps their eyes are so big because there is no light down there….you deserve a pat on the back. This is exactly the reason the Giant Squid has eyes the size of a beach ball (by the way, that is not an exaggeration). It almost seems like this gives the Giant Squid an unfair advantage considering their prey items with smaller eyes, aren’t able to see anything at these depths. Although, maybe this is for the best since I don’t think I would want to see a 10 m (33 foot) long, 200 kg (440 lbs) squid coming straight for me.