A giant 14-foot-long octopus has been stranded on the shores of Wellington, New Zealand, and has released images of the colossal cephalopod that become viral.
Three brothers, Dan, Jack and Matthew Aplin, stumbled upon the find on Saturday. Dan is a member of the Ocean Hunter Spearfishing & Freediving specialists in Wellington who have posted several pictures of the impressive Cuttlefish on his Facebook page.
"Wellington team member Dan had an interesting find in Wellington this morning!" The Ocean Hunter Spearfishing & Freediving Specialists titled the pictures. The post had been split nearly 6000 times on Monday morning.
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The Aplin brothers said they were driving on a lane near Red Rocks Reserve in Wellington They saw the squid. Then they called the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, which, according to The Sun, wanted to record the cuttlefish.
Huge cuttlefish of this size are not uncommon, according to National Geographic. They can be as tall as 33 feet, almost as big as a school bus, weighing up to 440 pounds.
The largest giant squid ever measured came to 43 feet and weighed nearly a ton, according to the Smithsonian Ocean.
Although we are the largest invertebrate in the world, not much is known about Giant Squid, mainly because of its deep-sea habitats. Scientists could only study them if they washed ashore. In 2006, Discovery Channel for the first time caught a giant squid on film.
Giant Squid and her even larger cousin, the Colossal Squid, have enormous eyes measuring 10 inches in diameter, allowing them to see through the murky waters of the deepest parts of the ocean.
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The colossal squid is estimated at 39 to 46 feet in length and weighs up to 750 pounds.
As in the case with other types of squid, giant squid have eight arms and two tentacles that are used for feeding, prolonging and holding food. They mainly eat deep-sea fish and other squid and have few predators, including sperm whales, deep-sea sharks and possibly pilot whales.
Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia