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Half-ton squid found washed up on beach in Spain

(Photo: El Diario Montanes video screen grab)

(Photo: El Diario Montanes video screen grab)

Digital writers

Saturday, October 5, 2013, 5:24 PM -

Like a scene straight out of a science fiction movie, a massive squid washed ashore on Tuesday at La Arena beach in the northern Spain community of Cantabria.

The giant squid, measured at 30 ft long and weighed some 400 lbs (equivalent to about 10 metres and 180 kg). 

A local Spanish news source reports that the monstrous specimen was moved to the Maritime Museum of Cantabria shortly after it was discovered, for further study.

The Architeuthis dux can grow eyeballs as big as a human head (Photo: El Diario Montanes video screen grab)

The Architeuthis dux can grow eyeballs as big as a human head (Photo: El Diario Montanes video screen grab)

Squids are the largest known invertebrates on earth. This species is known as Architeuthis dux and has a maximum size estimated to be at 43 ft long, whereas the biggest squid, called the Colossal squid can grow up to 46 ft. 

This sea monster has the largest eyes of anything in the animal kingdom. It is estimated that their eyes can grow to be as big as a human head. Their enormous peepers allow them to see deep down in the ocean depth, far away from sunlight. 

ALSO SEE: Five enormous (and thankfully extinct) ancestors of common species

Like all squid, this species has a mantle (torso), eight arms and two large tentacles. The Architeuthis dux use their tentacles like suction cups to catch their prey. 

Though the giant squid remains largely a mystery to scientists, it is believed that they mainly reside in cooler waters. Research has shown that their blood does not carry oxygen that well in high temperatures. 

According to El Diario Montanes, the giant squid was in fairly good condition when it was discovered. Once scientists determine a cause of death, they hope to preserve the the creature and have it on public display at the Maritime Museum.

For the original article posted on El Diaro Montanes, click here.

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