Giant squid discovered in Gulf of Mexico

U.S. scientists find rare 19.5-foot squid off Louisiana

Not since 1954, when a giant squid was found floating dead near the Mississippi delta, has one of the rare creatures been seen in the Gulf of Mexico—yet U.S. scientists are reporting they accidentally netted a 19.5 foot (5.9 metre) giant squid off the coast of Louisiana, Reuters reports. It just goes to show how little is known about creatures who live in Gulf. Weighing 103 pounds, the rare species was caught July 30 in a trawl net over 1,500 feet underwater. It didn’t survive the trip to the surface, but was preserved and sent to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History for research. The scientists who discovered it were taking part in a two-year study on the diet of sperm whales. “As the trawl net rose out of the water, I could see that we had something big in there … really big,” chief researcher Anthony Martinez, a marine mammal scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said in a statement. Giant squid can reach up to 40 feet long, and are usually found in deep water off Spain or New Zealand; this marks the first time one’s been captured during scientific research off the Gulf of Mexico, although the remains of giant squid have been found in stomachs of other creatures in the Gulf, so scientists knew they were there.


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