Photo of a giant squid - fake or fact?


Sep 29, 2005
This is my first apperance at this forum, so let me please introduce myself. I'm a psychologist, not a zoologist, but the photos of a living giant squid that could be seen in all papers some days ago raised my interest in giant squids. When I googled for more informations and photos I found a photo of a stranded giant squid that looks REALLY gigantic. Even if one takes into consideration that the squid could lay before a huge rock at the beach, so that the huge mass in the background would have nothing to do with the squid's body.

Unknown specimen of giant squid.jpg

However, the source of that photo is quite obscure. I've found it both at a cryptozoology-site (Image Gallery | Unexplained Mysteries) and at a spanish-speaking website that deals with sea-monsters, blobs, 'n stuff (Monstruos en el mar - Sección Zapping de Axxón, número 200). Unfortunately, I don't speak any spanish and the cryptozoologiacl website is so cryptic that it doesn't deliver much informations - besides the claim that this very squid should have been washed ashore at the Bahamas. But I couldn't find any reference to a giant squid stranded at the bahamas (especially not to one of this size). So I decided to turn to your forum to ask for further informations.

(1) Does anybody know this photo (and can tell me more about it)?
(2) Is it fake or fact? (you can do a lot with photoshop)

Nice greetings from Frankfurt (Germany) :smile:
Hi Michael,

Welcome to the site! I have seen this photo before (years ago). While I can't explain the source, and I am not an expert, I can say that by all accounts this must be fake. The mantle would far, far exceed any specimen ever observed. To your point, that blob in the background may in fact be something like whale blubber. The "tentacles" in the front also seem impossibly huge, and the single row of suckers and their spacing, I believe, makes it extremely suspect.

All that said, I reiterate that I don't know the source, and can't necessarily conclude that this is a photoshop job, but perhaps someone else here can shed light?
Definitely one for Clem, methinks.

I am certain this is a fake photo. It may be genuinely old, but it looks touched-up by brush to me. I agree with Tony and expect it was decomposed whale blubber that has been altered to resemble a squid.

It's a fun picture all the same.

I've seen a photo similiar to that quite some years back, and haven't had the time to go hunting for it again. I'll post it if/when I can get it. As for that photo, looks like a fake to me.
Hello Mfmfingerle,

Welcome to TONMO.

We've tangled with that photo, before. No way in hell is that a dead cephalopod. Tony's on the mark, it's got be a dead whale with its guts spilled out. The two bowed structures on the right that appear to bear suckers are probably the whale's jaw bones. The "suckers" can't be tooth-sockets (way too big), so a sperm whale is right out. It's probably a balleen whale, and the suckers were probably Photoshopped onto the jaw bones, with the final touches being some lens flare and blurring to mask the edges of the shopped elements. The scene itself is probably genuine, but I'm suspicious of those two dandies posing next to the carcass. No real seaman would prop an oar in the sand blade-end down

We're always up for a bit of Photoshop fun, here. Those new live Architeuthis shots will come in for some serious mugging. Sadly, none of our mash-ups have been taken for fact...yet.

If you take those marks in the sand as foot-prints, then those two guys are about three feet tall. Plus the guy in back has a shadow and the two guy in front don't.
Thank you, guys, thank you!
I've been out of town for a couple of days, so my posting comes somewhat late. Sorry for that.
I've had some doubts about this photo (primarily due to its origin), but as I am anything else but an expert in this field, I was not sure whether it could be nevertheless a real one. However, all the questionable details you highlighted in your postings are very convincing and I think, you're right - it must be a fake. Thanks again, you saved me a lot of time! :smile:
To Vampyrotheutis: I think, it makes no longer any sense to search for the "original". It would have been only interesting, if it would have been a real photo. Don't waste your time, ok?

Well, case closed. As a scientist, it makes me glad. On the other hand, I have to admit that the romantic part of my self is a little bit disappointed - it would have been a hell of a squid :smile:


Shop Amazon

Shop Amazon
Shop Amazon; support TONMO!
Shop Amazon
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.