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Giant Squid Washed Ashore in Australia 149

twofish writes "Yahoo News is reporting that the carcass of a giant squid, nearly 8 meters in length, washed ashore in Australia on Wednesday. The creature's mantle is over two meters in length and almost a full meter across. The creature, stretched out, is in total more than eight meters long. 'Scientists would take samples from the creature, identified by state parks officials as an Architeuthis, which can grow to more than 10 meters (33 feet) in length and weigh more than 275 kilograms (606 pounds). The Tasmanian animal was 250 kg ... Giant squid, once believed to be mythical despite occasional sightings by mariners, feed on fish and other squid. Last year, fishermen off the Falkland Islands caught a complete animal measuring 8.62 meters.'"
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Giant Squid Washed Ashore in Australia

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  • by timmarhy ( 659436 ) on Friday July 13, 2007 @07:48PM (#19854737)
    it's like an alien environment on our own planet. sure am glad these things are 500m down.
  • Re:Fast food (Score:2, Interesting)

    by American Scum ( 1126015 ) on Friday July 13, 2007 @08:26PM (#19855093)
    Last I read, once they get that big they have a high concentration of Ammonia. You'd need a helluva lot of margheritas to wash THAT taste down.
  • by American Scum ( 1126015 ) on Friday July 13, 2007 @08:32PM (#19855149)
    http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/OCEAN_PLANET/HTML/squ id_highlights.html [nasa.gov] "When a giant squid washes ashore, Roper hurries to the site. He takes many photographs and measures the length and width of the squid's body the length of the tentacles and arms, and the width of the eyes. He will add the information to his collection of clues. One clue was discovered at a party when Roper and two other scientists cooked a piece of giant squid. They expected a giant delicacy But it was awful. The taste reminded them of ammonia, a strong-smelling substance. They tested the tissue and found a lot of ammonia. They think that ammonia makes the giant squid less dense than seawater, so it won't sink. It can easily stay at a good level for finding food without constantly swimming and wasting its energy "
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 13, 2007 @11:37PM (#19856185)
    Finally found a shot of the octopus I mentioned

    http://theshadowlands.net/octo1.jpg [theshadowlands.net]

    Looking at that it would of been one hell of a big cephlapod, much bigger than a giant squid /signed kiwiguy
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 14, 2007 @05:30AM (#19857857)
    This is largely a wild guess, but my theory would be that this is happening as a result of environmental change. I don't think we know for sure.

    What we do know is that ice on both polar caps is melting at a tremendously accelerated rate at the moment. All arctic and antarctic ice is fresh water - made from fallen snow. So when this melts into the ocean two things happen. Firstly, the salinity of the sea is reduced - it becomes less salty. Secondly the density of the sea is reduced, since salt water is more dense - and offers more buoyancy - than fresh water.

    These two things might have some kind of impact upon giant squid, or their food, or those creatures (largely sperm whales I think) for whom the squid themselves are food.

    But you have asked a very important question here, and it would be well worth our while to determine the actual answer to it.
  • Re:Fast food (Score:4, Interesting)

    by niktemadur ( 793971 ) on Saturday July 14, 2007 @07:37AM (#19858419)
    I used to dislike calamari, but then a chef friend prepared some in his special recipe (ginger, orange, garlic, chili powder, beet, and a few other secret ingredients), and then I realized I'd never had proper calamari before, as this was sensational. I used to dislike beet, too, but in this dish I really enjoyed it, so this guy demolished two barriers of mine in one spectacular stroke. Since then, I've had blind faith in whatever he cooks up.

    Then a year later, I tried some fried calamari, spanish style, and once again I was amazed.

    Octopus grilled in butter and garlic, with fresh mexican sauce and flour tortillas is really damn good, too.

    And yes, you're right about it having to be fresh, as if isn't, it's like chewing on a piece of bleached rubber.
    So definitely, rule number one: never buy frozen squid or octopus.

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