Giant Squid Myths–True or False?

First giant squid filmed in deep sea: photo by Edie Widder/Discovery Channel

1. The eyes of the Giant Squid Architeuthis dux are the size of dinner plates.

*TRUE* Giant Squid eyes are the largest in the animal kingdom.

2. The Giant Squid have tentacles 60 feet long.

*FALSE* The longest measured dead Giant Squid was 43 feet (13 meters) long.

3. Giant Squid are the Kraken of legend that attacked ships and sailors.

*TRUE* to a certain degree, as washed up specimens of Giant Squid have fascinated humans for 2,000 years. They are known to “attack” boats by sticking their tentacles on them, but they have never attacked any humans!

4. Giant Squid attack Sperm Whales.

*TRUE* but probably only in defense. Sperm Whales have been found with sucker disk marks on their skin which proves that these two species tussle. Sperm Whales probably win most battles, as Giant Squid beaks (their only hard part) have been found in their stomachs.

5. Captain Nemo’s encounter with a Giant Squid in Jules Verne’s 1870 novel, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, was inspired by a true event.

*TRUE* in 1861, a French Naval ship encountered a Giant Squid, but Verne’s imagination took over from there!

6. Giant Squid have never been filmed in their natural environment underwater.

*FALSE* in 2012 a Giant Squid was filmed in the Pacific Ocean. Here’s the Discovery Channel’s coverage of a live Giant Squid.

7. A Giant Squid’s beak resembles that of a Parrot.

*TRUE* only a Giant Squid’s beak is made of chitin, which is what the exoskeleton of many insects is made of.

8. When a Giant Squid swallows its food, the food goes past its brain.

*TRUE* A Giant Squid’s esophagus (feeding tube that reaches the stomach) goes past its brain!

9. A Giant Squid’s feeding tentacles are 2x its body length.

*TRUE* A Giant Squid has 8 arms and two long feeding tentacles with clubs at the end.

10. Giant Squid eat other Giant Squid.

*TRUE* Giant Squid are cannibals!

For more information visit Giant Squid Legends

Smithsonian page on Giant Squid

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