Giant Squid


Apr 3, 2003

I remember reading in Richard Ellis's book on the giant squid that a US soldier who was serving in Vietman was quoted as saying that there was a giant squid lying under his boat - given that this squid was alledgely 60+ feet does this rule out Architeuthis dux as a candidate?

Are we looking at the possibility of other giant squid species still waiting to be discovered or is the range of squids like Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni far greater than we have previously imagined.
erm, he could have been lying..... whilst its true there a lot of mysteries, the hoax of seeing a giant squid is as old as mankind, pretty much.... except for the ones in land. argh im so confused now.

neway, if it was 60+ feet long, near south east asia, surely a species would have been discovered by now..... they are rather keen on their fishing :smile:
Hello friends,

The sighting you refer to did not take place in Southeast Asia. It occurred off the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, during U.S. Navy exercises.


Yours truly,

i can find absoloutely no internet sources mentioning any thing todo with a giant squid off puerto rico.....

and cryptozoology/conspiracy sites are usually packed when anything like this comes up.
Ellis makes the same point in his squid book, while noting Vieques' proximity to the 27,500 foot-deep Puerto Rico Trench.

If Dennis Braun did see a giant under the U.S.S. Frances Marion, the animal might have been spooked into shallow waters by the active sonar sweeps conducted by naval vessels further offshore.

One lesson to be derived from Braun's account (if it's true) is that it's always better to have a camera around. When will people learn?

Fair enough... however i read somewhere a while back that large animals usually cannot live in the real extreme of the ocean, such as deep trenches; was an article trying to debunk rumours of possible sea floor leviathons..... could giant squid live down trenches?
I wasn't suggesting that Architeuthis (or another big 'un) actually ranged that far down in the water column. As for the presence of really large animals way down deep, a Pacific Sleeper shark was filmed at -4,000 ft in the Sea of Japan, back in the 1970's, and was estimated to be 23 ft. in length, but that may have been an aberration.

Architeuthis might be able to go down into the trenches, but it's hard to imagine why it would do so. The paucity of appropriate food items down there wouldn't seem to justify the effort.

I wonder: would the squid's propulsion system become more efficient, the deeper it went? Is there such a thing as a hydraulic ram-effect?

heh, as matter of interest, and as i have very little marine knowledge, just how far down are giant squid believed to be able to travel?
It is generally thought that adult Architeuthis live between 400 and 600 m depth; as an oceanic species they are unlikely to be associated with trenches. Mesonychoteuthis, while also oceanic, has been collected from depths of 2200 m.
given that giant squid (Architoothless) are supposedly ambush predators - why the streamlined bodyshape? Most (all?) marine ambush predators have blobby bodies and some sort of huge mouth - why havn't giant squid converged to a more rounded octopus-like morphology?
Hmmmmmm. Well, all going to plan we'll be doing a wee doco on this shortly (something separate from the larval GS recapture and culture, adult GS capture on film, then colossal hunt). I'd like to story board the feeding behavior of these squid (both Archi and Mesonycho), then post them online. An illustration says 1000 words.

I'll know more early next week. The easiest solution would actually be to wait (at least easiest for me), then use this fandangled digital video thing they have here in the department and get some images of larval squid feeding; Architeuthis (I believe) feeds much like a larval squid; a movie would say 20,000 words.

I'll check out this 'ambush' term before waffling on further (someone may have given it specific meaning in studies of cephalopod behaviour); Archi and Mesonycho have totally different feeding strategies/behaviours, although both could be, in one way or another, referred to as 'ambush' predators.