Giant squid 14 feet long washes ashore on New Zealand beach

A woman and a dog pass a giant squid that washed ashore on January 19, 2005, in Newport Beach, California. Giant squid are extremely rare and difficult for scientists to study because they live in the deep sea. Divers found one, similar to this one, on a beach in New Zealand last weekend.
Caption
A woman and a dog pass a giant squid that washed ashore on January 19, 2005, in Newport Beach, California. Giant squid are extremely rare and difficult for scientists to study because they live in the deep sea. Divers found one, similar to this one, on a beach in New Zealand last weekend.

Credit: David McNew

Credit: David McNew

Divers in New Zealand made a startling discovery on a beach in Wellington last week: a dead 14-foot-long giant squid.

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The ocean creature had washed ashore near Red Rocks on Wellington's southern coastline, according to the New Zealand Herald.

Three brothers out for a dive on Saturday stumbled across the monster squid and took pictures that show the animal is much larger than a big man.

"After we went for a dive, we went back to it and got a tape measure out, and it measured 4.2 meters (13.7 feet) long," diver Daniel Aplin told the newspaper.

Aplin said the squid appeared to be in good shape with no noticeable cause of death.

"It was pretty clean, nothing major on it. There was a scratch on the top of its head, but smaller than a lighter, tiny, wouldn't think that's what killed it," he told the Herald.

Aplin called a friend at the New Zealand National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, who arranged to investigate the death.

Giant squid can grow as large as a bus, according to National Geographic, but the invertebrates are hard to study because of their deep-sea habitat.

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The largest ever measured was 59 feet long and weighed almost a ton, according to the science magazine.