Forty three feet. That’s about the length of a full-sized yellow school bus. And it’s the length of the biggest squid ever recorded. The giant squid’s scientific name is Architeuthis, and it’s believed to be the inspiration behind the legendary Kraken–a mythical tentacle monster that dragged ships into the ocean. (remember Pirate’s of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest?)
Until recently, giant squid were only known from dead specimens caught by fishermen. The photo above is the one on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. But in 2012, scientists lured a giant squid to their submersible and caught 23 minutes of live footage of it eating. Apparently, giant squid find their food by looking for tell tale calls for help from bioluminescent jelly fish. Squid eat the larger animals that feed on jellyfish, and the jelly fish light up with bioluminescence when something tries to eat them. So all the squid have to do is follow the light display to find food.
Watch the moment of discovery when scientists saw a giant squid live on video for the first time ever:
Here’s another one:
And if you’re really into it, Edith Widder, one of the first scientists to ever see a giant squid alive in it’s natural habitat describes her work: http://www.ted.com/talks/edith_widder_how_we_found_the_giant_squid.html