Dictionary's Unique Artistic Rendition of Architeuthis


Mar 13, 2014
When I was child back in the mid 90s, I discovered an interesting artistic rendition of Architeuthis in a dictionary or encyclopedia. It almost resembles the composition of the giant squid with the French ship Alecton, except that this squid appears more enormous, is not swimming next to any ships, and has a big beak located between the eyes rather than hidden beneath the tentacles. Because I was a giant squid fan, I kept scanning the picture, cutting it out, and pasting it for sea monster collages. I wasn't able to keep a copy of the original full drawing. This is the best that I have. Sorry that it's only a cut-out.


I can't remember from which dictionary this picture comes from. Do any of you recognize this picture? Is there a way to determine which book this illustration came from?
I tried a reverse image search, but no luck. :hmm:

Thanks anyway, tonmo. It's a shame when images like these are not archived online.

The only possible source I could think of for this picture is a Random House Dictionary of the English Language from the 60s, but I'm not sure. It fascinates me that any dictionary in English at all would have an artistic interpretation of a giant squid at all, let alone a definition.

It looks like it might be the siphon instead of the beak.

I've considered that possibility too, cuttlegirl. It's drawn in such a way that it looks both like a siphon and a beak.
...I missed that bit about the beak, definitely agree w/ cuttlegirl that it definitely appears to be a siphon (and that would be the general location of it, vs. at center of arms).
I took a quick look in one of my older Webster's dictionaries (1997 revised from as early as 1970) but there was no entry for either Giant Squid (there were entries for Giant Panda and Giant Anteater) or Architeuthis. My encyclopedias are from my parents' time so I did not dig them out to review.
Thank you very much, Argonautautidae! I really appreciate your finding the original picture for me. It looks beautiful in full resolution. It's certainly one rare and beautiful art piece. It reminds me a little of the artistic depiction of the Alecton encounter, and it has its own unique eeriness to it. This image had quite an impact on my all those years ago. I'm glad to finally see again as I remembered it.

I shall post the picture again just to marvel at its glory.


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