By: Andrew Cary
With 7 1/2-inch eyes, below a 6-foot mantle (head area) and tentacles longer than 16 feet, this is one monster mollusk!
The Kaikoura Marine Centre and Aquarium posted the photo above (used with their permission) and report in Facebook that they collected the giant squid specimen before birds could get to it. They say they have it frozen behind glass for display and research purposes. According to the Marlborough Express, aquarium owner Meghan Lewis says it was a mature female.
Squid-World.com says the maximum length of a Giant Squid is 43 feet, and they seem to reside primarily near the ocean floor.
See a clip from Man-Eating Super Squid that explores Giant Squid feeding behavior:
And hear this diver's tale of a frightening encounter with a different type of squid:
Humboldt, or Jumbo, Squid are another type of large squid that also can have mantles up to 6 feet long. They're commercially fished and are said to fight back when caught and show aggression towards divers. Watch a full episode of Swimming with Monsters that seeks out the Humboldt squid to see if they live up to their blood-thirsty reputation.